Consequences for felonies in California can be harsh in comparison to other states, and in many cases, charges for misdemeanors may escalate if they are ‘wobblers,’ meaning that the status of the charge commonly goes from a misdemeanor up to a felony or from a felony down to a misdemeanor. Some crimes may also wobble from a misdemeanor to a lesser infraction also—often known as ‘wobblettes.’
Wobblers usually include crimes related to gang activity, assault and battery, domestic issues, hit and run, drug possession, criminal threats, fraud, vandalism, second-degree burglary, forgeries, burglaries, and more. There is not much chance of a wobbler going in your favor, however, if you are a repeat offender. In fact, if you have just been charged with a second felony, you may find yourself being punished with penalties that are twice as bad as the first, quite literally. The repercussions for repeat offenders in California can be particularly harsh due to the Three Strikes Law (California Penal section 667).
The Three Strikes Law works like this: Any defendant convicted of a second felony, having already suffered one prior conviction of a serious felony, would now be sentenced to state prison for twice the term otherwise provided for the crime.
Let’s say you have two felonies and have already served time for them. anyone convicted of a third felony could automatically be sentenced to 25 years in prison (with no chance for early parole). This could affect individuals with a misdemeanor in their background as a first offense too.
While the Three Strikes Law was enacted in 1994 as a deterrent to crime, there was also pressure to have it modified due to the realities of how mild a third offense could be—placing an individual in prison for many years and not only being overly harsh in many cases but also contributing to overcrowding.
Eventually the Three Strikes Law was amended with two provisions changing the requirements on the third strike to be considered a violent or serious felony before a defendant was sentenced to 25 years to life. Also, for those in prison over a third strike, there is the possibility of requesting a term reduction to that of a second-strike sentence now. If you have recently been charged with another felony, seek skilled legal advice immediately as the rest of your years could be riding on a positive outcome in court.
Call the Dolan Law Offices now. We will listen carefully to your concerns, review your case, and offer advice based on many years of experience. John Patrick Dolan understands California’s complex criminal defense laws including drug charges, white-collar crimes, DUI, domestic violence, sexual assault charges, and violent & serious felonies. At the Dolan Law Offices, we provide the experience you need to help you fight for your rights and best interests. Call us at (760) 775-3739 or contact us online as soon as possible.