California’s Three Strikes Law Attorneys
In 1994, the Three Strikes Law was enacted. Once it became law, a person who was charged with a felony offense who had two previous felony convictions would be subjected to a mandated 25 years to life sentence. In 2012, the law was amended so that the new felony offense must be a serious or violent felony offense. This change was significant, as many people were incarcerated under the earlier version of the law who did not commit a violent felony.
Under California Penal Code 667, if a defendant has one prior serious or violent felony conviction the sentence imposed will be twice the term for the current felony conviction.
If a defendant has two or more prior serious or violent felony convictions the prison term for the current felony conviction shall be life imprisonment or three times the term for the current felony conviction, or imprisonment for 25 years, whichever is longer.
The law applies to violent felony offenses, which are listed under CA Penal Code 667.5, some of which are listed here:
- Involuntary manslaughter
- Violent sex crimes
- Sex crimes involving children
- Any felony punishable by death or life imprisonment
- Any felony that results in great bodily injury to another person
- Any felony in which a firearm was used
- Attempted murder
- Threats to victims or witnesses
- First degree burglary
In some cases, the court can be petitioned to remove a strike from your criminal record. This legal action is called a “Romero Motion.” This pleading can be filed by your criminal attorney, requesting the court to not use prior strikes when sentencing. The judge reviewing the matter will consider if the defendant has the right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment, and whether they, for several reasons, should not be subject to the spirit of the law due to issues such as background, character, worth to society, and other mitigating factors.
The history of the Romero Motion is a case in which Jesus Romero was convicted for the possession of .13 grams of cocaine, which carries up to three years in prison. Due to his prior convictions, he qualified to be punished under the Three Strikes law. The judge in the case did not feel that he deserved life in prison for the offense, and struck it down, sentencing him to six years (twice the maximum penalty of three years), due to his prior criminal record.
Your case may allow for a Romero Motion to be filed, or you may have been sentenced under Three Strikes before the law changed. The first step is to ensure your case is managed by a skilled, experienced, and accomplished criminal defense attorney who will review the facts and advise you of the best options to seek to reduce the damage to your life and freedoms, whether a case dismissal, reduced charge, reduced sentence, or an acquittal at trial.
If you are facing the dire consequences in a Three Strikes felony charge, the skills of your lawyer will play a significant role in the outcome of your case. At Werksman Jackson & Quinn LLP, your criminal lawyer has the support and input from the entire team of attorneys at the firm. Our attorney Mark Werksman is a former Deputy District Attorney and US Attorney and has a rare level of insight into the criminal justice system.
Attorney Alan Jackson served as a former prosecutor as the Assistant Head Deputy for the Major Crimes Division at the LA County DA’s Office. The knowledge, trial skills, and experience of our team goes above and beyond the ordinary, and we are often called upon to represent defendants in high profile cases.
Call today at (213) 688-0460 for a free case consultation.
Recent Case Results
- Complete Dismissal of Molestation Charges
Attorney Mark Werksman’s 29 year old client was falsely accused of molesting two neighborhood children and was subsequently charged with felony child molestation, with a significant prison sentence hanging over his head should he be convicted. Instead, at the preliminary hearing Werksman was able to convince the court to grant his client a complete dismissal of any charges.
- Decision Set Aside
Client, a college student in a faulty Title IX case, was awarded $130,000 in attorney fees.
- Probation with No Jail Time for Drug Money Laundering Charge
Wilmington man accused in New York federal court of laundering drug money through the sale of laptop computers. Mark was able to get the case transferred to federal court in Los Angeles, where he convinced the United States Attorney to reduce the charges. His client was sentenced to probation with no jail time on a misdemeanor conviction.