Sentencing Enhancements

California law provides for a variety of enhancements that can be used to increase the term of imprisonment that the defendant will serve. An enhancement adds time to the defendant’s sentence based on the following types of factors:

  • prior criminal history; or
  • for specific facts related to the crime.

In some cases, the court will impose multiple enhancements in a single case. Those enhancements either add a specified number of years to a person’s sentence, double the sentence, or convert a determinate sentence into a life sentence.

Throughout California’s criminal justice system, hundreds of enhancements can be found including a street gang enhancement and the three strike law.

Attorney for Sentencing Enhancements in Ventura, CA

If you are charged with a crime and fear being subjected to a sentencing enhancement, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at Jay Leiderman Law.

The criminal defense attorney that you choose for the case should be aggressive and pro active. The best results often require filing and litigating complicated motions to exclude prejudicial evidence, motions to suppress illegally seized evidence, or motions to dismiss charges not supported by sufficient evidence.

Contact Jay Leiderman Law to discuss your case today. Call (805) 654-0200.

California’s Three Strike Law

One of the most commonly used sentencing enhancements in California is known as the “Three Strikes” law. When it was originally enacted into law, the “Three Strikes” law created a mandatory sentence of twenty-five (25) years to life in prison for any defendant convicted of a third felony offense.

Immediately after it was enacted, the Three Strikes law began produced some shockingly bad results. In one well publicized case, a man was sentence to prison for twenty-five (25) years to life for possessing less than $10 worth of drugs. (Chinn, Three Strikes of Injustice, California Innocence Project, Oct. 11, 2012).

In 2011, the California legislature began enacting reforms to address this type of problem. Through a series of “realignments,” the legislature restructured California’s sentencing procedure to ensure that more felony offenses resulted in jail time instead of prison time.

In 2012, Proposition 36 was enacted to revise California’s Three Strikes law so that mandatory life sentences would only be imposed for the most violent or serious felonies.

Two years later in 2014, votes passed Proposition 47, which reclassified a number of drug and property crimes as misdemeanors when these same crimes had previously been classified as felonies.

In 2016, Proposition 57 became law. Proposition 57 allowed for parole dates for nonviolent felons and required judges, instead of prosecutors, to decide whether a juvenile should be tried in juvenile or adult court. After the reforms that reduced lengthy prison sentences, the crime rates have continued to go down.