California’s Three Strikes Law has consequences for people who have accumulated multiple felony convictions. The Three Strikes Law has been on the books in California since 1994 in one form or another, because voters and legislators mistakenly believed that the threat of lifetime confinement would convince criminals to avoid committing serious or violent crimes. But as many Californians have discovered, the law begins dealing its devastating consequences upon conviction of a second strike.
Second strike penalties lengthen
Although California’s Three Strikes Law has been modified a number of times by voters, increased penalties under the Three Strikes Law kick in with the second conviction. Under this law, second felony convictions require longer prison sentences than what would be applied if the offender had committed the crime as a “first strike.” In addition, convicted felons who accumulate a second felony conviction are eligible for less “good time” sentence reductions than felons who have not yet accumulated a “strike.”
Looking only at the current decade, California courts have increased second felony convictions by about one-third each year. This has severe consequences for the state’s prison system as a whole. A record number of Californians are now incarcerated for extraordinarily long periods of time on second strike offenses, often for non-violent felonies. In addition, as felons age, their medical profiles and housing needs can change significantly, necessitating expensive specialized housing and medical facilities in state prisons.
The danger of second felony convictions has also had an impact on county jails. In effort to avoid sending low-level offenders back to prison – effectively assessing a second strike, county jails have become overcrowded. This causes housing and management problems for counties as they try to manage non-violent offenders and those convicted of misdemeanors. In an effort to clear their jails, some counties have been accused of “up-charging” offenders in order to move them to state facilities.
If you’re facing a second strike, you cannot afford to risk your freedom and future on the skill of an inexperienced criminal defense attorney. You need an experienced, aggressive and hard-working criminal defense attorney to help you avoid a second strike conviction.
Contact Robert Helfend or call toll-free at (800) 834-6434, (310) 456-3317, (818) 591-2809 or (805) 273-5611 for an immediate consultation on your Los Angeles County second strike case.
Photo Credit: William Schenold, via FreeImages.com