Can I Remove Past Strikes From My Record?
The Three Strikes and You’re Out Law
The Three Strikes and You’re Out law focuses on convictions on crimes that were either violent or serious. According to the law, a defendant may receive a life sentence if he had two prior convictions for serious or violent crimes. It doesn’t matter whether the crime the person is currently being charged with is a serious crime or a minor crime; the defendant can still receive a life sentence.
The Romero Motion
In the People v. Romero, the Supreme Court of California gave judges the ability to strike any prior strikes from a defendant’s record during the sentencing phase. This reduces the amount of time the defendant would receive if he had two prior strikes on his record.
When a judge waives a strike during the sentencing phase, the strike does not disappear. Therefore, if someone is convicted of a crime after filing a Romero motion in a previous case, the previous strikes could count in the current case.
Factors that Increase the Chance of Granting a Romero Motion
Judges do not grant Romero motions every time a lawyer introduces them. The judge has the discretion to accept it under the following circumstances or not:
- Remorse for the crime that was committed
- Cooperation during the trial process
- The defendant’s history of criminal offenses
- The seriousness of the current charges
- How long it has been since the defendant’s last conviction
- The defendant’s age at the time of the prior conviction
A Romero Motion at Work
You or a loved one may have been arrested on a serious or violent charge, and you may be concerned about subsequent convictions because of the “Three Strikes Law” in California. It could significantly increase the amount of time you receive if you are convicted again. So, it is imperative that you hire a criminal defense attorney for yourself or your loved one in this circumstance.
You will need a criminal defense attorney to file a Romero motion for you. If you receive a third strike in this case, the judge has the ability to sentence you to 25 years to life in prison even though that would not be the sentence if you were convicted without prior convictions. Hiring an attorney is not just about filing a Romero motion. You also need an attorney to develop a defense for you against the current charges.
The Three Strikes Law was used against some segments of the population and not others, so it came to be seen as an unfair law. In 2012, Californians voted for the “Three Strikes Reform Act” to address those problems, but it still may affect you.
Contact us today at Schweitzer & Davidian if you have further questions.