Skip links

California Three Strikes Law


Thousands of Californians have been caught in the net of the state’s controversial three strikes law. This law dictates that serious or violent felony convictions count as a strike. Felony manslaughter, rape, aggravated assault, robbery, and even burglary count as first- and second-strike offenses. Individuals with two prior “strike” convictions can be sentenced to life in prison for a third felony conviction even if it is a non-violent offense.

Under the three strikes law, your punishment for a non-violent felony conviction can be doubled merely because you have a single strike on your record. For example, someone with a prior felony burglary conviction who is facing three years in prison for a drug charge can be sentenced to six years in prison because of the prior offense.

Your attorney may file a Romero motion to challenge one or more of your prior felony convictions. In some cases, the court will strike a prior conviction from consideration in a second- or third-strike case if your lawyer demonstrates just cause.

Of course, the most effective way to ensure that you avoid the consequences of a third strike is to avoid getting convicted. Your lawyer will analyze every aspect of the prosecutor’s case and work hard to craft a solid defense.

Leave a comment