Serious and Violent Felony "Strike" Offenses - California Penal Code Sections 1192.7 & 667.5
There are certain felony crimes that are considered a “strike” offense for the purposes of California’s three strikes law, which is considered the one of the most severe sentencing statutes in the United States. These crimes can be either a serious or violent offense.
These criminal offenses are covered California Penal Code Section 1192.7 which sets forth the offenses automatically charged as a strike offense. In other words, if you are convicted of any of these crimes, it will count as a prior strike. Typically, strike offenses will result in longer prison sentences for any subsequent felony convictions.
Furthermore, most serious crimes that are listed in PC 1192.7 will require you to serve a higher percentage of your sentence, but there are a few exceptions. Strike cases are by far the most significant when it comes time for sentencing.
For example, if you are convicted of any felony crime and you have a prior strike offense, it could potentially double your sentence. Additionally, if you are convicted of a strike case, you will most likely have to serve up to 85% of your time in prison, rather the usual 50% of time.
Even more importantly, if you are charged with two or more strike cases, or you have two prior strike cases and then convicted of a third case, which doesn’t have to be a serious or violent offense, you could be sentenced up to 25 years to life in prison.
The list of “serious” crimes under PC 1192.7 are normally presumed state prison crimes, meaning if convicted, your time will be served in a California state prison, as opposed to a Los Angeles County jail. The vast majority of the crimes listed are also considered ineligible for probation, which means you will not be granted a probation sentence.
Likewise, the serious crimes on the list will normally carry a much higher bail requirement that will not likely be reduced by the judge. Plea bargaining will have serious limits for most of the serious crimes listed in PC 1192.7.
As you can see, California’s sentencing system is sometimes highly complicated and many Los Angeles County prosecutors and criminal defense lawyers find it difficult to accurately calculate custody time. It should be noted that serious felonies are defined under Penal Code § 1192.7, but a violent felony is defined under Penal Code § 667.5, but both are considered a “strike” offense.
The prosecutor has to allege the underlying crime as either a serious or violent conviction in the indictment against you. If you have been arrested for a serious or violent crime, you need to consult with a Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer at Eisner Gorin LLP immediately. Let’s take a closer look at the legal definition and specific list of crimes below.
Definition of Serious or Violent Felony Offenses
California Penal Code Sections 1192.7, 1192.8, and 667.5 include the legal definition of serious felony offenses which can act as a “Strike” on your criminal record. A “serious felony” includes any of the crimes listed below:
- Any attempt to commit a crime listed on this page
- Any conspiracy to commit a crime listed on this page (Penal Code Section 182)
- Any felony carried out to benefit a criminal street gang (Penal Code Section 186.22)
- Any felony that is punishable by death
- Any felony crime where defendant inflicts great bodily injury
- Any felony crime where defendant used a dangerous or deadly weapon (Penal Code Section 245)
- Any violation of “10-20-Life” (Penal Code Section 12022.53)
- Arson (Penal Code Section 451)
- Assault by a life prisoner on a non-inmate (Penal Code Section 4500)
- Assault with caustic chemicals (Penal Code Section 244)
- Assault with a deadly weapon upon a peace officer or firefighter (Penal Code Section 245)
- Assault with a deadly weapon upon a public transit employee, custodial office, or school employee (Penal Code Sections 245.2, 245.3, 245.5)
- Assault with a deadly weapon by inmate (Penal Code Section 4500)
- Assault with the intent to commit rape, sodomy, robbery, oral copulation (Penal Code Section 220)
- Attempt to commit a felony punishable by death or imprisonment for life
- Attempted murder (Penal Code Section 664/187)
- Carjacking (Penal Code Section 215)
- Commission of rape or sexual penetration in concert with another person (Penal Code Section 264.1)
- Committing a felony with a firearm (Penal Code Section 122022.53)
- Continuance sexual abuse on a child (Penal Code Section 288)
- Criminal threats (Penal Code Section 422)
- Discharging a firearm at an inhabited dwelling or vehicle (Penal Code Section 246)
- Exploding a destructive device causing great bodily injury, mayhem, murder ( Penal Code Sections 12308, 12309, 12310)
- First degree burglary (Penal Code Section 459)
- Furnishing an illicit drug to minors (Health and Safety Code 11055)
- Grand theft involving a firearm (Penal Code Section 289)
- Holding of a hostage by a person confined in state prison (Penal Code Section 4503)
- Kidnapping (Penal Code Section 207)
- Lewd acts with a minor under 14 (Penal Code Section 288)
- Manslaughter (Penal Code Section 192)
- Mayhem (Penal Code Section 203)
- Murder (Penal Code Section 187)
- Oral copulation by force or violence (Penal Code Section 288a)
- Possession of weapon of mass destruction (Penal Code Section 11418)
- Rape (Penal Code Section 261, 262)
- Robbery or bank robbery (Penal Code Section 211)
- Sexual penetration with foreign object (Penal Code Section 289)
- Sodomy by force or threat (Penal Code Section 286)
- Torture (Penal Code Section 206)
- Witness intimidation (Penal Code Section 136)
Out of State Convictions
It should be noted that out-of-state convictions will count as a “Strike” for California’s three strikes law if they would have qualified as a violent or serious offense if the crime was committed in the state of California.
In other words, even if the crime committed in another state didn’t count as a strike in the where it was committed, it can still be eligible for a strike offense if the crime is listed under California Penal Code Section 1192.7 or 667.5. If you need additional information, contact a Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer at our law firm.
Legal penalties and sentencing for any of the crimes listed above will depend of the specific details and circumstances of the crime of which you are convicted. You past criminal history will also typically factor into any decision on legal penalties. As stated above, it’s important to note that if you are convicted of a serious felony crime, you will have to serve at least 85% of your sentence.
Consult with a Los Angeles Criminal Lawyer
If you have been accused of a serious or violent crime listed under California Penal Code Sections 1192.7 or 667.5, you need to immediately consult with the experienced Los Angeles criminal defense attorneys at Eisner Gorin LLP.
A conviction for any of the crimes listed above is severe and life-altering. Let out lawyers review the details of your case in order to develop a strategy for the best possible outcome. Contact our law firm at 877-781-1570.
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