Having a prior strike greatly impacts the case for the simple reason it gives the DA greater leverage in forcing a plea of guilty on the new offense, since the risk of going to trial on the new offense and losing is far too great – no probation, double the prison sentence, must serve 80% of the prison sentence imposed.
On these cases it is typical for the DA to offer the low prison term doubled – usually 32 months – assuming the new offense is a low-grade, non-violent felony. If the strike is fairly old – at least 10 years, sometimes the DA will agree to strike the strike for a plea of guilty on the new offense.
This does not mean that strike cases cannot be defended, it just means there is a greater element of risk involved in defending them. For one thing, the court has the discretion, established in the Romero case, to set aside the “strike” at sentencing even over the DA’s objection, if the strike is fairly old and imposing the strike sentence would result in a sentence disproportionate to the severity of the new offense.
On someone with two “strikes” the law requires a 25-to-life sentence, which is absurdly harsh if the new felony is a low-grade, non-violent felony. Usually in these cases the DA will be willing to strike one “strike” for a plea of guilty on the new case, but even that sentence can be too severe.
Obviously, if you have one or more strikes on your record, and are charged with a new felony, it is imperative that you seek competent counsel, as the stakes are very high.
I do not charge for initial consultations and my reasonable fees are determined by the seriousness of the charges. Selecting the right attorney is a very important decision that can significantly affect your future. Do not take this decision lightly. I can help you, as I have done for hundreds of clients in the past.
The information contained herein is not intended to be advice concerning your individual situation, but rather is general in nature. Please rely upon your own attorney's advice regarding your specific case.
© 2015 Attorney Richard Muir
122 Civic Center Drive, Suite 102, Vista CA 92084
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