THREE STRIKES CASES
THREE STRIKES CASES In California, conviction of certain serious and/or violent felonies are considered “strikes”. These “strikes” remain on your criminal history record forever. Any person, with two or more “strikes” on their record, who is arrested for any new felony, (even non-serious, non-violent felonies), faces a potential sentence of 25 years to life in state prison.
We have all heard the horror stories of defendants with “strike” priors receiving life sentences for stealing a slice of pizza, or possessing non prescribed medication. Unfortunately, many defense lawyers lack the experience, and many prosecutors and judges lack the heart, to achieve a fair sentence for someone with “strike” priors on their record. Judges have the authority, upon proper defense motion, to dismiss prior “strike” convictions. The defense lawyer’s job is to give them the right reasons to do so.
Sal Ciulla has over 35 years experience in handling serious criminal cases such as Third Strike cases. He has personally defended over 100 clients facing life sentences due to prior “strikes” on their records. In over 95% of those cases, “strike” priors were dismissed.
People v. Marcia G. Defendant had a very long misdemeanor and felony criminal history dating back 20 years. Included in her rap sheet were two residential burglary convictions, considered “strikes”. Her new offense was stealing merchandise from a retail store. Initial offer from the prosecutor was 25 years to life. The court granted the defense motion to dismiss the “strikes” and defendant was sentenced to 16 months.