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What Crimes Are Counted as Strikes under California’s Three Strikes Law?

Posted by William Aron | Jan 04, 2022

When a person commits a serious crime like robbery or arson, the consequences that will follow if they are convicted can affect them for the rest of their life. If you have been accused of committing a serious or violent crime and you have already been charged two times prior, you may be at risk of falling under California's three strikes law.

Aron Law Firm is a team of experienced criminal defense lawyers helping clients in California who are at risk of being in violation of California's three strikes law. If you have been accused of a serious crime, it is important that you are aware of what crimes are counted as strikes under California's three strikes law.

What is California's Three Strikes Law?

In the state of California, if an offender is found guilty of three separate violent or serious crimes, the three strikes law prevents the accused from receiving anything less than a sentence of 25 years in prison. Also known as the “three strikes, you are out” law, this law is codified under the Penal Code PC 667.

If an offender has been convicted of two violent crimes but is convicted of any nonviolent crime, they will not automatically face 25 years to life in prison. However, under the three strikes law, they will face double the normal prison term for the crime they have committed.

If a person faces the three strikes law, they will be ineligible to apply for parole unless they can be eligible for parole under Proposition 57. Proposition 57 allows nonviolent felons the chance at parole for good behavior and other proof of reform during their time in prison. If this is the case, they must first serve the complete normal maximum prison sentence for their crime before applying for the chance of parole under Proposition 57.

What Crimes Fall Under California's Three Strikes Law?

Any California citizen who has been convicted of three serious or violent crimes will be subject to the three strikes law. The felons who face this type of conviction will be subject to a minimum sentence of 25 years to life in state prison. Some crimes that are counted as strikes under California's three strikes law include:

  • Murder
  • Attempted murder
  • Rape
  • Robbery
  • Arson
  • Kidnapping
  • Extortion

If you have been accused of committing a crime that will be your third strike, you may be able to fight the three strikes law by getting the help of an experienced criminal defense lawyer.

How Can You Fight the Three Strikes Law?

For felons who are at risk of being convicted of their third strike in California, there are ways that an experienced criminal defense lawyer may be able to help you fight it.

  • Get a Prior Strike Erased: A defense attorney can ask a judge to dismiss, or erase a prior strike through a Romero motion. The judge may accept or decline this request based on factors including the defendant's criminal history and how long ago they committed the strike in question.
  • Claim Prior Crimes Were Not Strikes: If the defendant's past convictions were not serious or violent crimes, a criminal defense attorney may argue that they should not be counted as strikes.
  • Prove Innocence of Third Crime: If the accused is proven to be not guilty of a crime that would have been their third strike, then they will not face the repercussions of that law.

If you have been accused of committing a crime that could be your third strike, contact a criminal defense lawyer to help you fight it as soon as possible.

Get Help from a California Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you have been accused of a crime that puts you at risk of the three strikes law, you could be facing a minimum of 25 years to life in state prison. To get help fighting this law, it is crucial that you reach out to a California criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible.

Aron Law Firm is a California criminal defense law firm with extensive experience helping clients who are at risk of the three strikes law. We are proud to provide clients with the dedicated representation they deserve. To schedule a consultation, contact us here or call (805) 618-1768.

About the Author

William Aron

Our firm is managed by William M. Aron. William M. Aron is a graduate from the Duke University School of Law and an active member of the California State Bar Association. While at Duke University, Mr. Aron also earned an M.A. in Psychology, authoring a paper examining the efficacy of polygraph e...