When an individual is convicted of committing a crime he or she will be sentenced in accordance with the severity of the crime. Individuals who commit violent crimes, particularly those involving severe harm or injury being caused to another individual or a loss of life, will be punished to the fullest extent of the law. Repeat offenders and those with a penchants for committing crimes against children can expect to face extended incarceration, the possibility of life in prison and other harsh penalties. In our state repeat felony offenders will also be subject to the "Three Strikes" law.
Three strikes laws currently exist in more than 20 different states. The original "Three strikes and you're out" campaign was launched by the father of an 18-year-old young woman who was murdered in 1992 by a man with an extensive criminal record. The law didn't come to fruition until after the 1993 abduction and murder of a 12-year-old California girl. After that murder, more than 800,000 people signed a petition to enact the state's first legislation designed to not only deter repeat offenders but to enforce a stringent 25 years to life sentence on those individuals who were convicted of a third consecutive criminal offense.
Over the years the three strikes laws have faced serious controversy. One of the most controversial aspects of the initial three strikes law was that the third strike need not be a conviction for a violent or serious crime. Any conviction, even those involving a non-violent crime, could lead to a 25 years to life sentence. As a result of the three strikes laws our nation amassed the largest prison population in the world. Then in 2012 voters went to the ballots to adjust the three strikes law so that it would only apply to those individual convicted of committing a third violent or serious felony offense.
As it stands today, there is no guarantee that a convicted felon will face penalties according to the three strikes law. The decision to enforce three strikes penalties is often left up to the prosecution or the judge in the case. If you or someone you love is facing a third felony offense, we strongly advise you obtain legal counsel from a St. Augustine criminal lawyer at our firm immediately. Having a lawyer from Taylor & Taylor fighting for your freedom will significantly improve your chances of being able to avoid three strikes penalties all together. Our firm will also work hard to help you get the charges you face reduced, dismissed or to achieve an acquittal at trial. You will have to act fast. Contact our firm and schedule to meet with one of our experienced lawyers today.