Super Strike – Los Angeles County
This concept of a super strike has come up recently where certain Penal Code sections that people plead to are characterized as a super strike in LA which basically means that even if somebody gets charged with a new offense after getting one of these super strikes, and normally the case can be filed as a misdemeanor for example in the case of a petty theft situation, the super strike can make the new case a felony instead of a misdemeanor and then the person can be looking at a second strike. The super strikes in Los Angeles are enumerated, in that Penal Code section – basically crimes like murder, aggravated kidnapping – any crime that carries a life sentence behind it would be characterized as a super strike. There’s a number of super strikes that are listed, but the significance of them is that they can basically double or even give a longer sentence for somebody who commits a crime that would normally be a misdemeanor or a non-strike case.
I recently had a case in the Van Nuys courthouse where my client picked up a petty theft from stealing a $7.00 pin from a local location. He was cited in the court, Penal Code Section 484 Misdemeanor. Once the prosecutor saw that he had a prior kidnapping on his record, they charged it as a super strike and were offering thirty-two months in prison at 80%. We did the preliminary hearing. At the end of the preliminary hearing, I argued that they had not shown that what he was charged with in the past was a super strike. They hadn’t proved that it was the type of kidnapping where he could have received life on, or that it was an aggravated kidnapping and the Judge agreed with my argument and basically gave him the misdemeanor credit for the time that he had already served and he was released, But the bottom line is this – some of these laws are being passed here in California and they’re in contradiction with other laws. It’s the legislature’s attempt to try to punish people who they perceive as career offenders who basically need to be taken out and warehoused in prison for a long time. But some of these laws, because they conflict with other laws and because they’re written in a confusing manner without taking into account real life situations, a lot of time prosecutors are trying to improperly use these laws and put people away for a long time.
The only thing that stands between somebody being warehoused or sent to prison for a long time and freedom is their criminal defense attorney. So, you’re going to need to – when you decide to hire a criminal defense attorney – sit down with them, talk to them, look over their credentials and really get a feel for the person that you’re going to be dealing with because when it comes to this super strike concept these are the type of offenses that people are sent to prison for a long time for and once you’re sentenced it’s real hard to undo the sentence and un-ring the bell of a Judge that basically took you out and sentenced you to ten or twenty years or more. So, really put the time into talking to your attorney, asking questions and figuring out exactly what they can do to help you and if you’re charged with a super strike or you have a loved one that’s charged with a super strike in Los Angeles and you don’t feel that it’s fair and you feel that either the strike should be stricken or that it’s not a super strike, or that somehow you or your loved one is being treated unfairly in a criminal defense case in LA, you’ve got to get in front of an attorney who knows what they’re doing, who has been down this road before, had success and can really put up a fight for you or your loved one and get you the best result.
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