You know, people would hear this tagline and say, is this some sort of a joke? But the reality is, the new District Attorney in Los Angeles county was just sworn in, and he basically issued a number of different directives.
One of which in my opinion, has the effect of partially abolishing the three strikes law in Los Angeles. Still, if you were to pick up a strike — a robbery, an arson, a rape, a murder — anything that fits under a serious or violent felony — that would be considered a strike.
However, he has basically indicated that his office, his deputies in Los Angeles, are not to be sentencing people based on prior strikes.
New LA District Attorney Not Seeking Enhancements
So, if you're a third striker, you're looking at 25 to life, you pick up a new felony that qualifies as a third strike, they're not going to use those other two strikes against you. That's huge. Even if you're a second striker:
- you have one prior strike, and
- you pick up a new felony that qualifies,
- the DA's office is not going to be seeking an enhancement related to that prior strike that you have.
Now, some might say that the judge could still do it. I'm not really seeing how the judge is going to do it because I think what's going to happen is, they're just not going to file those prior strikes, so the judge will not have the ability to do it in a lot of different circumstances.
What I think might be interesting is where somebody has pled to a strike in the past.
They are on probation and they violate their probation, and now the District Attorney doesn't file charges against them, but the judge gets the opportunity to sentence them.
That judge might say, I don't care what the prosecutors argue related to that prior strike and what their policy is, my policy is to punish and sentence. I'm going to follow the law that was enacted and has been challenged all the way up to the Supreme Court.
Abolished the Three Strikes Law
But I'll tell you, it's a new day when the District Attorney of Los Angeles county says he's not going to sentence people based on prior strikes anymore.
To me, he has effectively, abolished the three strikes law in California. You could still get strikes, but who cares if they're not going to use them to sentence.
That's the whole purpose and point behind the three strikes law. What's crazy about it is that these counties that surround Los Angeles, do not have the same policy:
- Orange County,
- Ventura County,
- San Bernardino County,
- Riverside County,
- Santa Barbara County.
Will they follow suit and create the same policy, or is Los Angeles going to be the place to commit crimes if you don't want to be punished for prior strikes that you have. It's crazy.
I'm in one of the largest counties as far as criminal activity goes in the nation, now takes out one of its most effective tools to punish people.
Criminal Defense Attorney for California Crimes
I've been doing criminal defense for 27 years, since the three strikes law came into effect in 1994, I've seen a lot of people go away for a long time.
I think this new District Attorney really wants to rehabilitate people versus warehouse them, put them in prison for a long period of time. He simply does not believe in that.
There's a number of other things that have been changed besides the three strikes law in Los Angeles. We will see how that impacts crime.
We will see how that impacts our society and we'll see whether or not they attempt to recall this District Attorney.
I think it is a possibility and whether or not he can sustain a potential recall challenge. Even his own Deputy District Attorneys do not seem very happy with the way things are moving.
But if you or a loved on has a criminal offense, and you have prior strikes and you're looking for an attorney who can fight on your behalf and use some of these new protocols that the District Attorney's office in Los Angeles county has come up with, you've come to the right place.
Pick p the phone. Ask for a meeting with Ron Hedding. I stand at the ready to help you.
Hedding Law Firm is a criminal defense law firm located in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles County at 16000 Ventura Blvd #1208 Encino, CA 91436. Contact us for a free case evaluation at (213) 542-0979.