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Why “Strike” Felonies are Extremely Serious and Fighting Gang-Related Strike Priors after the Ulloa Decision

I. What is a “Strike” and Why Are They Serious? Under California’s Three Strikes Law, an offender can face up to 25 Years to Life in the State Prison if he or she is convicted of more than two eligible offenses defined as “strikes”, which are included in Penal Code section 1192.7(c) (“Serious Felonies”) and…

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Sentencing Enhancements: New Law Change Offers Opportunity to Fight Excessive Charges in the Interests of Justice

Enhancements: The Prosecution Tool to Maximize Potential Punishment Sentencing enhancements are allegations made by the District Attorney that attach to an underlying charge that increase, or “enhance”, punishment for that crime. There are conduct enhancements, such as an allegation that an assault or other offense was committed with “great bodily injury” (See Cal. Penal Code…

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Los Angeles DA Gascon Declines to File Sentencing Enhancements – Solano, Napa, & Yolo Defendants Still in Jeopardy of Overzealous Prosecution

New Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascon has indicated that his office will no longer file sentencing enhancements when charging crimes against defendants, representing a major step forward toward ending the draconian sentencing laws that have filled California prisons beyond capacity. Effectively, this means that the LA District Attorney will no longer seek death penalty…

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Statutes as the “Black Letter” Law in California

Almost all states, as well as the Federal Government, have codified their criminal laws into statutes that one can refer to in text form. The Courts interpret the statutes and determine the intent of the Legislature, and, when the statutes are challenged as unconstitutional, rule as to their validity. When the Courts interpret a statute,…

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Authority of Trial Court to “Strike” a Strike Prior under the Romero Decision

Strikes are included in Penal Code section 1192.7(c) (“Serious Felonies”) and Penal Code section 667.5(c) (“Violent Felonies”). [See Cal. Penal Code § 1170.12(c)(2)]. As mentioned on this website, under California’s Three Strikes Law, an offender can face up to 25 Years to Life in the State Prison if he or she is convicted of more…

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Half-Time Credits – Why the in-custody term for most crimes is actually half of what is ordered by the Court.

If you are sentenced to State Prison, County Jail, or County Jail as a condition of probation, you are ordinarily entitled to “half-time” credits, unless you committed a violent felony (a type of “strike” offense) requiring you to serve the offense at “85 percent” time [Cal. Penal Code §§ 667.5(c), 2933.1], or have been found…

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