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Under the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, the “Three Strikes” statute (18 U.S.C. § 3559(c)) provides for mandatory life imprisonment if a convicted felon: been convicted in federal court of a “serious violent felony” and has two or more previous convictions in federal or state courts, at least one of which is a “serious violent felony.” The other offense may be a serious drug offense.
Many people who are charged with a crime and who plead guilty to that crime don’t even know that they are pleading to a “strike” offense and this can have a drastic effect on your future. For example, if you plead guilty to an offense that could be a felony or a misdemeanor (a so-called “wobbler” offense) but you also admit an enhancement allegation, such as a great bodily injury allegation, that crime becomes a “strike” within the meaning of the three strikes law. Not only will any future sentence you receive be doubled because of your prior strike, but it will also prevent you from having your case reduced to a misdemeanor later on down the line.
While with the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office for over eight years, Pat Carey was involved in sentencing thousands of individuals for strike offenses. He knows the ins and outs of sentencing laws and how they can affect you. He was even assigned the task of training new prosecutors.
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