Three strikes is a sentencing scheme that dramatically
increases punishment for people that are repeat
Strike Law" can mean a third felony offense can send
you to prison for a minimum of 25 years. If you have "two
strikes" against you, it is possible to spend the
rest of your life in prison if convicted of a third
A strike may include those convictions committed prior
to enactment of the "Three Strike Law," any
conviction from other states, all federal convictions
and even convictions committed as a juvenile.
A "strike" is
defined under Three Strikes law as a serious or violent
felony. Serious and violent felony convictions are given
special definition under the law. Crimes such as
residential burglary, assault with a deadly weapon and
robbery are examples of "strikes" within the
meaning of the Three Strikes law.
lawyer must aggressively evaluate the evidence in a
Three Strikes case to determine as early as possible
whether to prepare a defense for trial or to negotiate a
plea bargain with the prosecutor or the judge for
canceling or 'striking' a strike.
After evaluating the evidence, the lawyer must also
research the prior strike convictions to determine if
there is a basis for attacking their validity.
stakes of a conviction under this law can potentially
result in a life prison sentence. It is important to
shop for experience, and not for price when the stakes
are so high.
What makes the law so controversial – and presents such
a peril to those convicted under the law – is that the
second felony doesn’t even have to be what’s considered
a strikeable offense. And for someone with two strikes
who is convicted of a third felony (again, not
necessarily a strikeable offense), the punishment
can be 25 years to life.