Peter Blair | March 30, 2016 | Felony Charges
The fact will always remain: Crimes will always take place and felonies will always be distributed through the court system. However, based on how severe these crimes were when they were committed, different penalty options will permit. Now you can find out more about felony sentences and how the laws pertain to crimes in California. In California, felonies are crimes that are punishable by death or incarceration in state prison if they are decided as lesser. In many states, lawmakers will designate classes of crimes. For instance, you may see something known as “Class A Felonies” or “Class C Felonies” and each crime will be designated to those classes. In the state of California, lawmakers will fix punishment on a crime-by-crime basis.
What is a Fixed Sentence?
Possible imprisonment in California is usually three to five years. The judge, however, will have a lot of range and decision-making power in these situations, as they are permitted to craft he appropriate sentence within the given range. Lawmakers will choose either low, mid, or high-term sentences unless the crimes are the most extreme crimes like murder or rape. As an example, take assault with a machine gun; for this crime, you may expect four, eight, or 12 years in prison. Lastly, if a lawmaker has failed to set a punishment for a felony, it is punishable by 16 months or two years in prison as well as a fine.
The Statute of Limitations
Felonies and the statute of limitations go hand in hand. This is a time limit in which the state must begin the criminal prosecution process. If they do not, then the defendant’s case will be thrown out. Most states have one statute of limitations for felonies, one for misdemeanors, and another for other very serious crimes. California, however, has many different statutes of limitations and many exceptions to the statutes as well.
The Three Strikes Rule
If you have received a felony, you may have heard of something known as the “Three Strikes.” These laws have been made to keep habitual offenders (these are people who have received multiple felonies because they committed many crimes) locked up for life because no other interventions have worked. If an offender is committed of three felonies, under this law, they must receive a long prison sentence such as 15 years or 25 years to life. However, not every felony will count toward your three strikes. A strike will count for any conviction for a serious or violent felony. This could include burglary, robbery, kidnapping, murder, sexual offenses like rape or child molestation, weapon-related offenses, great bodily harm offenses, arson, or explosive crimes. However, there have been offenders in the past who received life in prison for less. For instance, in California, a man was sentenced to life imprisonment after he stole some videotapes from a grocery store. He had two prior felony offenses on his record and this burglary counted as his third strike. Usually, this crime would carry a few months in jail as a sentence; however, this is just how the law works. Felonies are very serious and can change the route that your life is taking for a long time coming. This is why it is a good idea to have an experienced attorney on your side to guide you every step of the way. Call The Law Office of Peter Blair today for more information.