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California Criminal Defense

Handling Cases In Ventura County, And Portions Of Santa Barbara And Los Angeles Counties

Law Office of Paul Tyler

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Three Strikes Attorney Serving Ventura County

Most people have heard of the “Three Strikes” law in California, but few people actually understand what it means for criminal defendants.  California’s Three Strikes law, adopted in 1994, is a remnant of a bygone era of draconian criminal prosecution at the expense of the rights of the accused.  The law has improved somewhat over the last few decades, but it remains an unjust law aimed squarely at punishment rather than rehabilitation.

California criminal defense lawyer Paul Tyler has decades of experience protecting the rights and the freedom of clients accused of all manner of illegal activity.  If you are facing a Three Strikes enhancement in California, the Law Office of Paul Tyler will fight to ensure that you are not railroaded into taking an unfair punishment for fear of spending life in prison.  We will make sure that the police and the prosecution are held to a high standard, and we will not let our clients face unjust sentences, regardless of their alleged acts.

What is the Three Strikes Law?

The Three Strikes law is a penalty enhancement that defendants face when they are subject to current criminal charges after having previously been convicted of qualifying felonies.  The law was modified in 2012 to require that the current crime be a serious or violent felony in order to trigger the most severe consequences of the law.  Before 2012, any current felony would do.

The purpose of the Three Strikes law is to ensure longer prison sentences and greater punishments for repeat offenders.  The law enhances the penalty for a second conviction and subjects a defendant facing a third conviction to life in prison.  Here is how it works:

  • Second Strike: Penalty Doubles.  If a defendant has one prior “serious” or “violent” felony conviction and now faces any felony conviction, the punishment for the “second strike” felony is double the penalty that would have been imposed for a first offense
  • Third Strike: 25 to Life.  If a defendant has two or more prior serious or violent felony convictions and now faces a third conviction for a violent or serious felony, then they will automatically receive a penalty of at least 25 years to life in prison.

Each of the prior felony convictions (and, for the third strike to apply, the current conviction) must be “serious” or “violent” felonies as defined in California Penal Code section 667.5.  Qualifying felonies include, for example, murder, rape, robbery, kidnapping, a felony that results in great bodily injury, lewd or lascivious conduct, first-degree burglary, and others.

The consequences of the Three Strikes law are serious and absurd, especially under the second strike provision.  If a defendant has a prior conviction for a robbery, for example, and is then convicted of grand larceny for stealing a $1,000 computer, they will face double the prison time for the subsequent theft, even if no violence was involved.  If the defendant is convicted for robbery on a third strike, instead of facing 3-6 years imprisonment, they will instead face 25 years to life in prison.

Attorney Paul Tyler Fights for His Clients

California’s Three Strikes law is no joke.  There is, however, a silver lining.  In all the years Paul Tyler has been practicing law, he has never had one of his clients sent to prison for life.  Even third-strike offenders he has represented have not faced lifetime imprisonment.  Criminal defense lawyer Paul Tyler fights for the rights of his clients, negotiating more favorable plea deals, holding the government to task, and fighting cases all the way through trial where necessary.

Life in prison is the absolute harshest of possible penalties, and, in our experience, deals can be reached with either the District Attorney or, more frequently, the Judge.  Even the prosecution is often reluctant to go for life in prison for most offenders. With the help of a dedicated and passionate criminal defense attorney, one or more strikes can often be stricken from the complaint.  While this might still result in a prison sentence, the lifetime prison sentence will be taken off the table.

To learn more, please call California three strikes defense attorney Paul Tyler at 805-889-9000.  He will answer your call personally.  You will not be required to go through a secretary, paralegal or associate attorney.  California criminal defense lawyer Paul Tyler works directly with you.  Call today for a free consultation.