Serious felonies and violent felonies count as strikes. Under the California Three Strikes Law, the most notable serious felonies that qualify as strikes are:
6. Drug possession with intent to sell
7. Lewd or lascivious acts committed on a child less than 14 years of age
Violent felonies overlap into the serious felonies column, which also include aggravated assault, assault with a deadly weapon, armed robbery, oral copulation by use of force, and battery.
Nonviolent felonies such as possession of a controlled substance with the intent to sell, and drug trafficking are also included in the strike category. First-time offenders, depending upon the severity of the crime, usually end up serving approximately two thirds of the appropriated sentence.
All of the aforementioned felonies, as a first strike, will result in mandatory prison sentences. With the exception of 1st degree murder, convicted felons can serve anywhere from two to fifteen years for each respective offense. Repeat offenders, or second-strikers, will suffer harsher penalties if convicted, and will spend twice the amount of time behind bars; for example, if a person is convicted of robbery and serves a five year sentence, a second conviction of the same or unrelated felony would automatically double the sentence, resulting in a ten year stay. Second strike offenders must complete 80% of their term.
California laws become more stringent with increased crime commission. The baseball terminology Three strikes and youre out takes precedence after the third felony has been committed. This means that three-strike offenders will serve no less than 25 years in prison, and life without parole hinges upon the discretion of the judicial system.
In no way, shape, or form is this information to be construed as legal advice. California penal codes are a matter of public record, and can be accessed at no cost through various mediums of communication.
Those seeking legal information about strike offenses should visit the Will & Will, LLP law office in Riverside, California.