Third-Strike Charges

In 1994, California passed legislature that was given the title "Three Strikes and You're Out." This law can be found in Cal. Pen. Code § 667(e)(2), where it states that any person with two or more prior felony convictions who is convicted of a subsequent felony offense will face 25 years to life in prison. The purpose of this law is to highly discourage repeat offenders, especially regarding major felonies such as murder and other violent crimes. The statute has since been a cause of controversy as many people believe it violates the Eighth Amendment and is a form of "cruel and unusual punishment."

The Three Strikes Law also lengthens sentences for repeat felony offenders by adding years to their sentence for a second or subsequent offense. This can lead to absurd results in which a person convicted of two consecutive lesser felonies, such as drug possession, faces a longer prison term than someone convicted of a serious violent crime, such as rape or murder. Many people also argue that prisons have become overcrowded due to the number of wrongful or unnecessary life sentences that many convicts face without chance of parole.


There are several defense strategies that can be used to fight a life sentence for a third felony conviction. One of these is available for use in cases of drug crime felonies and is found in California Proposition 36, which was passed and codified in 2000 under Cal. Pen. Code § 1210. This law allows drug offenders to attend drug treatment programs instead of being imprisoned for life.

For other criminal offenses, a repeat offender could defend themselves if their offense is considered a "wobbler," which means that it could be sentenced as either a misdemeanor or a felony. The key to this defense is hiring an excellent criminal defense attorney who can skillfully represent you in California and fight for the lesser sentence. Another strategy would simply be to fight the charges altogether. If you are not guilty of the crime, don't hesitate to retain an aggressive defense from a Ventura County criminal defense attorney. Call Ridley Defense today!


For more than 13 years, Ridley Defense has provided competent defense for the wrongfully accused in Ventura County, Santa Barbara County, L.A. County, And Southern California. Attorney Ridley has five years of former experience as a Ventura County Deputy District Attorney, which has given him an intimate understanding of the prosecution's strategies and how to defend your case accordingly. Our firm focuses on understanding the full details of your case in order to skillfully build a strong defense and obtain a reduction or dismissal of your charges. We offer a free case evaluation, so contact our offices today to learn what we could do to help you avoid a third strike.