Juvenile Three-Strikes Law

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Juvenile Three-Strikes Felony Crimes Defense | Former LA Juvenile Court Prosecutors

juvenile three-strikesMinors, those under 18 in California, are typically considered too immature to understand the consequences of their actions. For this reason, special courts typically handle juvenile proceedings, which are geared more toward rehabilitation than punishment. Nonetheless, courts may consider juvenile crimes when sentencing an adult under the three-strikes law. A lawyer versed in a juvenile three-strikes defense can help your child get the best representation possible.

Founded by former prosecutors in 1987, Takakjian & Sitkoff, LLP has helped end the unfair sentencing guidelines that apply to habitual offenders. Our team aggressively advocates for your child to receive a fair disposition in the juvenile courts. If you are an adult facing a third strike, we take decisive steps to keep your juvenile record out of sentencing consideration.

Laws governing habitual offender sentencing in California

When sentencing a repeat offender, California courts are subject to:

  • Proposition 184 — Passed in 1994, Proposition 184 instituted the three-strikes law in California. The law mandates a term of life in prison on a third-strike felony for defendants who have violent or serious crimes on their records.
  • People v. Nguyen — In 2009, the California Supreme Court decided that a felony adjudication in juvenile court counts as a strike for purposes of sentencing under the three-strikes law. The court rejected the argument that the crimes should not be considered in habitual offender sentencing because juveniles have no rights to a jury trial.
  • Proposition 36 — Passed in 2012, this measure revised some provisions of the three-strikes law to rectify the disproportionate life terms imposed for minor felonies. Offenses classified as violent or serious, specific types of sex and drug crimes, and crimes involving a firearm are now considered a third strike.

When is a juvenile adjudication considered a strike?

The court can count a juvenile crime adjudication as a strike if:

  • The offense is defined in the California Penal Code as a violent or serious felony.
  • The offense is listed in California Welfare and Institutions Code 707(b).
  • The defendant was at least 16 years old at the time the offense was committed.

Crimes counted as a strike

California Welfare and Institutions Code 707(b) lists numerous serious and violent crimes that count as a strike, including:

Learn more about three-strikes sentencing in California

To learn how the juvenile three-strikes law affects your sentence, call Takakjian & Sitkoff, LLP at 888-579-4844 or contact us online to schedule your free initial consultation. We handle cases in the criminal courts located in Los Angeles, Ventura, Orange and surrounding counties.

Stephen Sitkoff

Stephen Sitkoff

Partner and Criminal Defense Attorney

Stephen Sitkoff is a partner at Sitkoff & Hanrahan who started his legal career as a deputy district attorney more than 30 years ago prosecuting cases throughout the LA criminal court system in Southern California.
Eugene Hanrahan@2x

Eugene Hanrahan

Partner and Criminal Defense Attorney

Eugene Hanrahan is both a former federal and county prosecutor and partner at Sitkoff & Hanrahan, LLP with two decades of criminal law experience. Mr. Hanrahan’s criminal defense expertise ranges from misdemeanors to serious, complex felony cases.
James Kim

James Kim

Senior Case Analyst

James possesses over a decade of legal experience and serves as the firm’s senior case analyst handling the initial calls from prospective clients.