Violent Felonies PC 667.5 – What is it?
California defines certain offenses that are considered Violent, and they are listed under PC 667.5. This particular section also notes that if you have already previously been convicted of a violation of a crime that is listed under PC 667.5 within 10 years of a new Violent Felony offense, you would a receive an additional 3 years of custody time added to your case for each “Prison Prior” you have within that 10 year period (PC 667.5(a)). In addition to this, if you have a prior Violent Felony, and pick up a new, non-violent felony, for example, Drug Sales under H&S 11351 , you would have an additional one year of custody time added to that new case.
In other words, if you were convicted a prior Violent Felony offense, and picked up a violation under H&S 11351, your maximum exposure for that charge is 4 years, plus another 1 year for the prior Violent felony within 10 years (PC 667.5(b)). You can also have been considered a person who served prison time if you were put on Mandatory Supervision. If you previously served a Probation sentence, then it would not be considered a Prison prior for sentencing enhancement purposes.
This is also not an offense you can be charged with, but rather, it occurs when your charged offense is found listed under the listed charges in PC 667.5(c). Many Violent felonies are also considered Serious Felonies.
What are the most common charges listed under PC 667.5(c)?
You can find the entire list of crimes that are considered violent hereLaw Section.
The most common are :
- Continuous Sexual Abuse of a Minor
- Criminal Threats
- Sexual Penetration with a Foreign Object
- Lewd Act on a Minor under 14 with force
How does having a crime listed under PC 667.5(c) affect the outcome of my case?
Most charges that fall under this section will require you to serve a longer percentage of time in custody. Most commonly, crimes are considered “50%” crimes under PC 4019. What this means, is you earn a day for credit for each day you earn. That would mean if you are sentenced to 2 years in a State Prison, if it is a PC 4019 offense, you would earn two days for every day you spend in custody, and would likely serve no more than a year of the 2 year sentence. This is also referred to as Good Time Credits. However, most offenses that are listed under PC 667.5(c) are a higher percentage, up to as much as 80 or 85%. Therefore, if you were to be sentenced to 10 years in a State Prison, you could serve up to 8 years of that sentence or 8.5 years, depending on the percentage requirement the law affords your specific charge. Murder is the only charge where you would be required to serve 100% of that sentence, with no Good Time Credits being available to you.
Even if you served part of your time in custody and part of your time out, under PC 1170(h), for split sentencing, that would still be considered a Prison prior within 10 years. A split sentence occurs, if your charge falls under PC 1170(h), where you spend part of your time in custody (jail), and the remaining half of your time on Mandatory Supervision. So, despite not being sent to an actual prison, this would be considered a prison prior within 10 years. These, however, do not apply to future misdemeanor cases. Prison priors only apply to new violent and non-violent felonies, so you would not get an extra one to three years sentence if you were to pick up a new misdemeanor charge. However, your criminal history would follow you in that regard, meaning that your misdemeanor sentence will be much higher, if you have already been to State Prison.
Bail will also be much higher in charges that are listed under PC 667.5. The reason for this, is a Judge must consider the safety of the community in setting the bail amount for your or your loved one’s case. For a charge to fall under the charges listed in PC 667.5(c) it would mean a Judge is much more likely to consider the accused violent and a danger to the community, so it would be unlikely for there to be any kind of Own Recognizance release.
Is a Serious Felony crime a Strike?
Yes, any violation that falls under the category of PC 667.5 would be considered a Strike offense under the California Three Strike’s Law. This generally means a longer potential State Prison commitment, if you are convicted under this section. A strike conviction also increases any future felony charges you may receive by doubling the exposure, or maximum Prison commitment, on the new felony charge. It would also mean lower earning credits, and the potential to send you to State Prison for 25 years to life, if you receive 3 or more strike offenses.
If you are a loved one see that your criminal charge falls under PC 667.5, you must seek out an attorney that knows the implications of a violent felony charge, and knows ways to best help. Being well versed in cases under this section affords your attorney the added bonus of being able to negotiate a plea bargain that could potentially avoid the nagging presumption of prison for your case. Your attorney can also work towards trying to mitigate and reduce the charges and your potential sentence by poking holes in the Prosecution’s case, showing how they cannot prove what they claim they can, and why. These are among the most serious charges you can face, and here at Inland Empire Criminal Defense, we’ve handled hundreds of cases involving every kind of charge listed in PC 667.5(c), and we can help you too. Call your local Ontario Criminal Defense Attorney today at the Inland Empire Defense 909-281-0456. Located in Ontario.
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