Lawyers Who Understand California's Three-Strikes Law

Originally adopted in 1994, California's three-strikes sentencing law increased the prison sentences given to individuals who were convicted of two or more felonies. A person convicted of a felony who already had a felony conviction (or "strike") on his or her record was sentenced to twice the term otherwise provided for that crime. A person who was convicted of a felony after two prior convictions received a prison term of 25 years to life with no time off for good behavior or working while in prison.

From the start, the three-strikes law has been broadly criticized for being unduly harsh and a main contributor to overcrowding in California prisons. In 2012, voters approved Proposition 36, which essentially removed the mandatory 25 years to life sentence for those who received their third strike if the crime was not a serious or violent felony.

Although Proposition 36, which is also known as the Three Strikes Reform Act of 2012, introduced some sensibility to California sentencing guidelines, the original law still doubles the length of a sentence for a person with two felony convictions — a "second striker."

Removing Prior Strikes From Your Arrest Record

Over the years, California courts have received broader discretion in dismissing a strike prior if it is determined the strike falls "outside of the spirit" of the three-strikes law. Factors the court considers include:

  • How old the prior conviction is
  • Whether the defendant has avoided legal trouble since the conviction
  • Whether the defendant was employed during the previous conviction and the present arrest
  • The nature of the prior conviction and the present felony charge

The lawyers at Schweitzer & Davidian have a thorough understanding of what circumstances can lead to removal of strike priors in order to avoid the law's harsh minimum sentences. In some cases, a prior conviction that resulted in a strike can be challenged and shown to be a non-strike offense.

Working With Schweitzer & Davidian To Reduce Or Eliminate Consequences

If you face a felony charge and sentencing under the three-strikes law, it is critical to work with a criminal law attorney who has a proven track record of successfully obtaining dismissal of strike priors and minimizing the impact of a felony conviction.

Contact us to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation by calling 559-321-7391. We will review the facts of your case and provide a candid assessment of what we feel can be accomplished. We serve clients in Fresno County, the Central Valley and throughout California. We have offices in Clovis and Visalia.