Can Someone Have Robbery Or Burglary Charges Removed?

California's three-strikes law was established almost 25 years ago. It is designed to punish career offenders while protecting society from them, especially those who commit serious or violent crimes and pose a genuine threat to others.

When judges evaluate whether or not someone falls under the auspices of a three strikes crime, they will determine whether or not they have a history of violent felonies or a history of repeatedly committing crimes.

The three-strikes law in California is meant to stop career criminals from committing crimes. Any residential burglary in California is a serious felony, and if convicted, it's a strike on their record for the rest of their life. If a person present during a burglary happens in the home, that offense makes it a more severe charge. That offense would be a violent felony and a strike. Anytime a person serves at 85% in prison, it is also a strike. A person is more likely to be sent to jail if convicted due to the presence of a person during a burglary.

When a robbery charge is involved, the offender is unlikely to get it removed or sealed from their record in California. It's essential to try and get a lesser charge or offense when someone's charged with robbery. A lesser offense can sometimes be charged if the defense can relate it to a crime not in the same high category as a robbery. There's no such thing as a misdemeanor robbery. Robbery is a felony. If you're convicted of robbery, that's a strike. It's on your record forever in California, and you're looking at prison time that has to be served at 85% of the time. The felony would also be done in prison, not county jail.

However, if a minor is under 16, they can avoid a strike if they commit a robbery or burglary. If the juvenile is 16 years and older, they cannot prevent a strike on their record. If you have been arrested for theft or residential burglary, it's crucial to hire a criminal defense attorney to represent you. Your criminal defense attorney can help you avoid a robbery conviction and prison by creating an aggressive mitigation package that will produce the best possible result.

Serious or Violent Offenses 

Each time someone commits a serious or violent offense subject to this law, they will receive a strike. If someone gets a second strike, their sentence will be doubled, and they will have to serve a higher percentage of the sentence.

For example, if someone commits a violent felony, they may have to serve 85 percent of the sentence in jail rather than 50 percent. The three-strikes law has changed over 25 years, but most felonies qualify. If someone receives three strikes, they will be facing 25 years to life in prison. A juvenile conviction could also be eligible as a strike.

As a criminal defense attorney who represents individuals at risk of being subject to the three-strikes law, I consider the facts and circumstances of a person's criminal history and make the argument that one or more offenses should not be considered or that the individual should not fall under the auspices of this law. Anyone at risk of being sentenced by the three strikes law should obtain an attorney who understands the history of this law and can successfully fight these cases.

Out-Of-State Felony Conviction and California's Three Strikes Law

Out-of-state and federal convictions can count as strikes under California's three-strikes law if they have the elements and meet the standards of a California-based case that would be subject to the three-strikes law. For example, if someone committed a federal crime of bank robbery or a bank robbery in New York, it would count as a strike even though it didn't occur in California.

The types of offenses that count as strikes under the three strikes law are listed within the California penal code. Some violent felonies require serving 85 percent of the sentence, and other serious felonies require serving 80 percent of the sentence.

The felonies listed in the penal code are not run-of-the-mill criminal cases; they include murder, arson, rape, robbery, criminal threats, and intimidating witnesses. With the possibility of facing 25 years to life in prison after receiving three strikes, it is essential to obtain a defense attorney who knows this law like the back of their hand and knows how to file a Romero motion whereby a judge may strike a strike for the defendant to avoid the harsh penalties that accompany the three-strikes law.