California’s “One Strike” law imposes strict sentencing enhancements for certain sex crimes committed under aggravating circumstances.
The law is aimed at repeat offenders, cases involving bodily harm to the victim, use of a weapon and those who commit sex crimes against children. Under California Penal Code 667.61 PC, a person convicted of a qualifying sex crime may be sentenced to an increased prison term.
The One Strike law applies to a number of serious sex crimes, including rape, sodomy, oral copulation and lewd or lascivious conduct with a child under 14 years old. In order for a person to be convicted under the One Strike law, the prosecution must show that the crime was committed under certain aggravating circumstances, such as a prior conviction for a similar sex crime, the use of force or the use of a deadly weapon.
If convicted, a defendant facing One Strike charges could face an additional 15 years, 25 years or life in prison.
Charges under 667.61 PC are very serious. If you or someone you love are facing charges under California’s One Strike law, it is important to work with an experienced criminal defense attorney who can help ensure that your rights are protected throughout the legal process.
What is the California “One Strike” law?
California’s “One Strike” law can be applied in cases where certain offenses are committed along with certain aggravating factors.
The list of offenses includes:
- Sexual assault
- Lewd or lascivious acts
- Oral copulation with a minor
- Continuous sexual abuse of a minor (“child molestation”)
Then, in addition to showing that the defendant was guilty of the offense above, the prosecution must also prove that the defendant was guilty of at least one of the following aggravating factors:
- Used a dangerous weapon while committing the offense
- Administered a controlled substance to the victim
- Inflicted bodily harm on the victim
- Kidnapped the victim
- Tied or bound the victim
- Had a prior conviction for one of the offenses above
Penalties for a conviction under California’s “One Strike” law
Depending on the facts of the case and the number of aggravating factors, a conviction under 667.61 PC can extend the defendant’s sentence by:
- 15 years
- 25 years
- A life sentence
Defenses against 667.61 PC charges
There are a number of defenses that can be raised in cases where the defendant is accused of committing a sex crime under the One Strike law. Some of these defenses include:
- The defendant did not commit the underlying offense
- There were no aggravating factors
- The defendant was wrongfully accused
- The defendant has been falsely accused
If you have been charged under California’s “One Strike” law, it is important to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to discuss your case and explore your legal options.
Attorney Robert M. Helfend is a criminal defense lawyer who has been practicing law in California for more than 30 years. He has a proven track record of success defending clients against serious sex crime charges, including those under California’s “One Strike” law.
If you are facing charges under 667.61 PC, Mr. Helfend can help ensure that your rights are protected every step of the way. He will work tirelessly to build a strong defense on your behalf and fight to get the best possible outcome in your case.
For more information or to schedule a free consultation, contact Attorney Robert M. Helfend today – 800-834-6434.