The controversial “Three Strikes and You’re Out” law in California mandates harsh prison sentences for those convicted of three or more serious criminal offenses. The recently revised law imposed mandatory sentences of 25 years to life upon conviction of a third “strike.” Though it was designed to reduce violent crime by keeping serious criminals behind bars, the law has been controversial for the harsh sentences it has imposed on non-violent offenders in particular. California’s prisons have become even more overcrowded with people serving life sentences for drug crimes, theft and other non-violent offenses. Though recent reforms to the law have eased the impact on repeat offenders, it is critical to have an experienced Temecula criminal defense attorney if you are facing criminal charges.
In November 2012, California voters passed Proposition 36, enacting important reforms to the Three Strikes Law. The changes mean that, in most cases, if your third conviction is a non-violent crime, you are not subject to the mandatory 25 years to life sentence. Furthermore, those already serving time under the old law may petition the court to have their sentences reduced if their sentencing would have been different under the new law. There are 2,800 prisoners in California eligible to petition for reduced sentences, and the process to review these cases is already underway.
Despite changes in sentencing laws, those facing criminal charges in California, particularly those with prior offenses, still face a difficult legal system. The classification of the charges against you can make a huge difference when it comes to sentencing. If you are facing charges in Riverside County, contact a Beaumont criminal defense attorney for representation.
California’s complicated criminal and sentencing laws mean it is critical to have a skilled attorney help you through the process. The attorneys of Angeloff, Angeloff and Levine help clients facing criminal charges navigate the legal system.