If you are facing criminal charges, you and your family are likely going through a very challenging time. The way California deals with serious and violent felonies is perhaps more complex and punitive than any other state in the country.
If you have been accused or charged with a serious or violent felony in Santa Rosa, you must remember that you have the right to hire an attorney of your choosing to represent you.
At The Law Office of Amy Chapman, we defend Californians who have been charged with or convicted of a serious or violent felony. Our California criminal defense attorneys can help you avoid the serious consequences you will face if convicted. Call us today at (707) 636-3207 for the help you need.
What is a Serious or Violent Felony?
To understand how California handles serious and violent felonies, you must first understand what serious and violent felonies are and how they are defined.
In California, a serious or violent felony is any felony listed as serious under Penal Code (PC) Section 1192.7(c) and 1192.8(a) or violent under PC Section 667.5. This includes, but is not limited to:
- Felony manslaughter;
- Rape and most felony sex offenses;
- Aggravated assault;
- Certain theft offenses, including, residential burglary;
- Certain drug offenses; and
- Offenses involving a firearm;
Why It’s Important to Avoid a Conviction for a Serious or Violent Felony in California
While it is important to do whatever you can to keep any criminal conviction off of your record, it is extremely important for you to avoid being convicted of a serious or violent felony in California. Here’s why:
All serious and violent felonies in California also count as a “strike” under California’s “three strikes” law. This essentially means that:
- You may be forbidden from plea bargaining to a lesser offense;
- You will get less credit for time spent in custody; and
- If you have any prior conviction for a serious or violent felony and are convicted of another felony, the sentence for your current conviction will be doubled, even if that offense is not considered a strike; and
- If you have two prior convictions that are considered strikes, a third conviction for a serious or violent felony can result in you being sentenced to 25 years to life in prison—perhaps the most important reason to avoid any conviction for a serious or violent felony in California
Defending Serious and Violent Felony Charges in California
If you have been charged with a felony in California and already have strikes against you, an experienced California criminal defense attorney may file a motion with the court challenging one or more of your prior strikes. If your attorney succeeds in convincing the court to remove one or more of these strike convictions from consideration, you will avoid the harsh penalties imposed under the “three strikes” law for a second felony or third strike conviction.
However, the best way to avoid the harsh consequences of a second felony or third strike conviction is to avoid ever being convicted of a first strike offense. When you hire The Law Office of Amy Chapman to defend you, an experienced criminal defense attorney will meticulously go over the prosecution’s case against you to uncover:
- Any evidence that was improperly obtained;
- Any instances of improper procedure during any search and seizure performed by the police; and
- Any other information or evidence that can be used to prevent you from being convicted.
Contact The Law Office of Amy Chapman in Santa Rosa, California
If you or a loved one has been charged with a serious or violent felony in California and need an experienced California criminal defense attorney to help you avoid a conviction, our knowledgeable and experienced California criminal defense attorneys can help you avoid the excessive penalties you will face if convicted.