California Has Mandatory Sentencing for Serious or Violent Priors, which can seriously impact the amount of custody a defendant may serve.
Under 667(b-i) PC and 1170.12 of the Ca. Penal Code, a person who has previously suffered a serious or violent felony conviction in California, or a conviction in another jurisdiction that would qualify under California law as serious or violent, “Shall be punished” with the following restrictions:
- No aggregate term limits (meaning all charges and punishments can run consecutively, or end-to-end);
- Probation shall not be granted or suspended;
- The age of the prior is irrelevant;
- The sentence shall only be served in State Prison (no local jail); Nor shall diversion be granted; and
- Credits shall not exceed one-fifth (20%) of the total sentence, and no accrue until the defendant is physically placed in prison.
If a defendant has one prior serious or violent felony pled and proved by the DA, the minimum term for the current conviction shall be twice the term otherwise provided by law.
If a defendant has two or more serious or violent felonies pled and proved, and the current offense is serious or violent, he must be sentenced to life imprisonment with various minimum indeterminate sentences. Yes, this means life in prison if he has two prior qualifying strikes.
Fortunately, I have been successful in Vista, San Diego downtown, Chula Vista and El Cajon courts in avoiding life and strike-related sentences. Motions to “Strike Strikes “, also called Romero motions, invited the court to exercise its power to strike the allegations requiring the tough mandatory sentencing.
Reducing a charge to misdemeanor instead of a felony also avoids mandatory Strike Sentencing. Plea bargaining to a lesser, non-serious, non-violent charge also avoids certain mandatory sentences, but may still subject a defendant to a doubling of the sentence if a prison is contemplated.
Anyone with a felony and a potential Strike prior needs a competent, aggressive, intelligent attorney to both negotiate the case, and research the priors and the law. Your future depends on investing in the right attorney.
Call today to find out how, for the last twenty-two years, I've literally been saving the lives of people facing life in prison or seriously harsh sentencing because of California's Three Strikes Law.
Joel Bailey, Esq.
Bailey Criminal Defense
Across from the courthouse in Vista, appearing in all San Diego Courts, and all over California to help good people in tough situations.
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