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Challenging Out of State Strike Priors

Posted by Joel Bailey | Jun 07, 2016 | 0 Comments

If you or someone you care about is facing a felony charge in California, and has an out-of-state prior alleged, you need a local, aggressive criminal defense attorney to challenge the validity of the prior convictions.

California law requires enhanced punishments under the Three Strikes law, if a person is facing a new felony charge and has suffered a prior serious or violent felony conviction.  If the prior conviction was in California, the law is pretty clear regarding whether the prior is a valid “strike”, however, if the prior is from another state, it may be successfully challenged.

Most DA's and judges believe that an out of state prior can be proven by any information to show the charges would have been a strike in California if the conviction were in this state.   Generally, the standard is to compare the “Least Adjudicated elements” of the foreign crime, and see if it is exactly the same as the crime in California that would constitute a Strike.   Many DA's have sought to use police reports, hearsay statements, and other, non-admissible evidence to establish the validity of a strike. However, recent caselaw has limited the admissibility of what a court or jury can consider in determining the validity of that alleged “strike ” conviction.

Whenever I handle a case with allegations of Strike priors, I will always carefully review both the record of conviction, and the elements of the charges as they existed in the state at the time of the conviction, to develop methods to invalidate the strike prior, often resulting in avoiding substantial years in prison.  I have successfully prevented the use of “Strike Priors” from non-conforming states to dramatically reduce potential sentences for my clients.

Its worth the investment to hire an aggressive, competent defense attorney to challenge prior convictions of any kind, to protect the future of you and your family.

Call today for a free consultation and let me show you how I can make the difference for you and your family.

thumbnail photo by stevepb on pixabay

About the Author

Joel Bailey

ATTORNEY BIO & EXPERIENCE Attorney Joel W. Bailey was born and raised in San Diego, California. He graduated from La Jolla High School, and earned degrees in Psychology, Sociology and Political Science from UC Santa Barbara, as well as completing a semester at the Universidad de Madrid in Spain....


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