“Super Strikes” are very serious felonies such as murder, rape, and assault with a deadly weapon on a police officer, that make you ineligible for some recent changes in sentencing and re-sentencing laws applicable to the “Three Strikes Law”. The “Super Strikes” are listed in PC 667(e)(2)(c)(iv), and are far fewer than the “Strikes” listed in PC 667.5(c) (known as “violent felonies”) and those listed in PC 1192.7(c) (known as “serious felonies”)
IIHOW DOES A CONVICTION FOR A “SUPER STRIKE” AFFECT SENTENCING UNDER THE THREE STRIKES LAW?
Under recent changes to the Three Strikes Law, if you were convicted of two or more Strikes, and your new felony charge is not a Strike, you will be sentenced as if you had only one prior Strike. In other words, your sentence will “only” be doubled. However, if one of your prior Strikes is a “Super Strike”, you will not be eligible for sentencing under the new law and, if convicted of the new felony, you may be sentenced to 25 years to life in prison. For example, if you have a conviction for burglary and robbery (two Strikes that are not “Super Strikes”), and you are now charged with felony Receiving Stolen Property, if convicted, the sentence for the new charge will “only” be doubled. But if your prior Strike convictions are for murder (a “Super Strike”) and robbery (a Strike), a conviction for felony Receiving Stolen Property may result in a sentence of 25 years to life in prison.
IIIHOW DOES A CONVICTION FOR A SUPER STRIKE AFFECT MY RE-SETENCING RIGHTS UNDER PROPOSITION 47?
Under the re-sentencing reform known as “Proposition 47”, some crimes (e.g. theft in which the value of the stolen property is $950 or less, and drug possession) were reduced to misdemeanors, and you are entitled to request that your conviction be changed to reflect that the crime is now a misdemeanor. However, if you were ever convicted of a “Super Strike”, you are not eligible for re-sentencing under Proposition 47. For example, if you were convicted of murder and possession of methamphetamine when HS 11377 was still a felony, you are not eligible to request that the drug possession charge be reduced to a misdemeanor. Accordingly, if you are convicted of a strike in the future, you may be sentenced to life in prison as a three-striker.
IVWHAT I WAS CONVICTED OF A “SUPER STRIKE” WHEN I WAS A MINOR, OR MY “SUPER STRIKE” CONVICTION IS FROM ANOTHER STATE: DOES EITHER CONVICTION COUNT AS A “SUPER STRIKE”?
The answer to this question is “It depends.”
Under PC 667(d)(3)(A), a conviction for a strike committed when you were a minor qualifies as a strike if:
- You were 16 or older at the time you committed the crime,
- The crime you committed is one of those listed in Welf & I C 707(b) or a strike,
- The Juvenile Court determined that you were fit to be dealt with under juvenile law (instead of being tried as an adult, for example), and
- The Juvenile Court took primary responsibility for your control and treatment.
Under PC 667(d)(2), a conviction for a strike – including “Super Strikes” – in another state (e.g. Nevada) that fits the definition of a strike under California law qualifies as a strike. This analysis is more complex than a simple word-for-word comparison between the laws of Nevada and California. Every crime is like a recipe: there are many ingredients – called “elements” – listed in it, and each state is free to define the crime as it sees fit. If the elements of the strike you were convicted of in Nevada are the same as under California law, then your strike conviction from Nevada will count as a strike in California.
A Romero motion is a motion filed by your attorney essentially asking the Judge to dismiss in the furtherance of justice one or more of your previous Strikes. If the Judge grants the motion, he or she is allowed to sentence you to a lighter sentence than you would receive as a Three-Strike Offender. The motion essentially asks the Judge, to consider your background, your upbringing, your family ties, your current exposure without the strike offenses, among others, to determine whether you are the type of person the Three Strike Law is designed to punish. Further, an experienced attorney will verify whether your Super Strike conviction when you were a minor qualifies as a strike, and/or whether your out-of-state conviction for a Strike offense qualifies as a Super Strike under California law.
A prior conviction for a Super Strike may cause you to spend the rest of your life in prison. Our attorneys have handled numerous cases involving allegations of Super Strikes and Strike offenses, and they know how to challenge the prosecutors’ allegations of prior Super Strikes and Strikes. Call the Inland Empire Criminal Defense firm today at (909) 939-7126. Located in Ontario.