Three Strikes Cases

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Three Strikes Crimes

Orange County Three Strikes Defense Lawyer

California’s Three Strikes Sentencing Law

In California, there is a law referred to as “the three strikes law”. In summary, a “strike” is a serious or especially violent felony. If an individual receives 2 strikes for 2 different violent felonies, the next felony you may receive, whether it is violent or non-violent will be considered your third felony or third strike, and can be sentenced to 25 years to life imprisonment.

On November 6, 2012, California voters approved Proposition 36 which substantially amended the law with two key provisions:

  1. The requirements for sentencing a defendant as a third strike offender were changed to 25 years to life by requiring the new felony to be a serious or violent felony with two or more prior strikes to qualify for the 25 year-to-life sentence as a third strike offender; and
  2. The addition of a means by which designated defendants currently serving a third strike sentence may petition the court for reduction of their term to a second strike sentence, if they would have been eligible for second strike sentencing under the new law.


For years, the “Three Strikes” law was considered one of the harshest sentencing rules in the country. Even defendants with no prior history of violence were incarcerated with maximum sentences as though they had committed high felonies. The result was a court system, rampant with high-level cases that ultimately resulted in sending one in four inmates into California’s overcrowded prison system.

Proposition 47 was passed in 2014 and seemed to follow the general intent of prior changes. The two initiatives represents a major shift in the way the State of California looks at nonserious and nonviolent property and drug crimes. In my opinion, balance has finally come back to the justice system. People who were charged with nonserious and nonviolent offenses are looking at reduced penalties, shorter incarcerations, and reduced classifications – from felony to misdemeanor.

If you have EVER been convicted of a charge that falls into the nonserious and nonviolent definition, now is the time to look into having the charges reduced or eliminated completely from your record.

The people have spoken – they want fairness in the way that law enforcement and the courts treat certain nonserious and nonviolent drug and property crimes. If you have been charged with drug possession, shoplifting, check and credit fraud, forgery, theft and possession of stolen goods and if the offenses total less than $950 in value, the people want to give you another chance.

Proper Defense, Effective Solution

California’s three strikes law is very complex and requires a very proactive and aggressive defense, which includes detailed analysis of the case, all of the circumstances surrounding the case and extensive legal research. These cases cannot be won by mere negotiation. They must be won by diligent work and experienced skilled knowledge.

Although these cases are not necessarily easy to win, with the correct arguments and legal strategies, there is a possibility that a judge can strike out one of the prior convictions, thus, possibly preventing you from being sentenced to the standard 25 years to life imprisonment that this charge can carry.

Anytime the defendant is facing felony charges, the defense must move decisively and quickly. Specific actions must be taken in planning your defense. Your attorney must be aggressive and proactive to preserve evidence, file appropriate motions and propound discovery.

Please contact our office today if you or someone you know has been involved or is alleged to be involved in this crime. We will set an appointment to discuss your case details and possible defense strategies. The initial consultation is free.

The Law Offices of Stull & Stull has the utmost experience and expertise in California’s “wobbler” laws – like robbery crimesburglary crimes, theft and many drug-related cases. Attorney Adam Stull previously acted as a prosecutor and has handled a variety of cases – many of them very serious. We are very familiar with the range of complexity that may accompany even the simplest cases.

Our familiarity extends to experience, but also with practical advantage of California traffic laws are constructed. We can respond appropriately, as well as to propose lawful alternatives to various penalties or sentences that can end up being unnecessarily harsh or unjust.

The Law Offices of Stull & Stull has more than 45 years of combined criminal trial experience in Orange County as well as Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Santa Barbara, Kern, Tulare, Fresno and Ventura counties. The Law Office of Stull & Stull is based in Laguna Hills, California.

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