Under the Three Strikes law in California, offenders convicted of a second felony after a previous violent or serious felony conviction can receive twice the mandatory minimum prison sentence. A person who receives a third felony conviction must serve at least 25 years and up to life in prison.
If you are facing a second or third felony charge, learn how the state’s Three Strikes law may impact your sentence in case of a conviction.
Applicable felony charges
Felonies which fall under the Three Strikes law and result in a state prison sentence include but are not limited to:
- Sex crimes
- Weapons crimes
- Crimes involving an explosive device
- Severe bodily injury to another person
A conviction for any of these crimes or an attempt to commit any of these crimes constitutes a strike.
Provisions of the Three Strikes law
After a strike conviction, the sentence can be doubled for any subsequent felony conviction and you would then serve at least 80% of the doubled sentence. In contrast, someone without a previous strike would be released after serving 50% of the prison time. Upon a third strike conviction, a sentence of 25 years to life can be imposed.
Despite the state’s sentencing framework, a judge has the final say in applying the Three Strikes law. If you have a minor or nonviolent felony (a drug offense, for example) after a second or third strike conviction, the judge may dismiss the strikes for purposes of sentencing.