The phrase “three strikes and you are out” is well-known among baseball players and fans. When the player at bat swings and misses for the third time, their turn is over, and they are considered “out.” This phrase also has meaning in the legal world, especially in the world of criminal law. In order to gain a better understanding of the three strikes law, take a look below.
In Florida, the Three Strikes Law works like this for habitual felony offenders:
• If you have been convicted of two or more felonies you can be punished under the Three Strikes Law. When your case is considered a “third strike” case, the Court has the power to impose extended prison terms. Depending on the charges against you, this might mean a life sentence.
• If you have been previously been convicted of two or more felonies, or another qualifying offense, you are classified as a habitual offender. The Court is empowered to impose enhanced punishments in these instances, especially if the felony for which you are being sentenced was committed while imprisoned, or during a term of supervision.
Harsh sentences are imposed under the Three Strikes Law as a way to deter future bad acts. The thought is that if a defendant is made to endure the maximum possible punishment, or close to it, the likelihood that a crime will be committed is decreased. Given the severity of the possible range of punishment in these circumstances, it is critical to enlist the help of a qualified criminal defense attorney. Once you are labeled a habitual offender, not only do you face these enhanced punishment possibilities, but that label may follow you long after you serve your term.
This can make it hard to get a job and provide for your family, leaving you with few attractive options for making ends meet. For help, call our office.
If you have questions about the three strikes law, call our office for answers. Call an experienced criminal defense attorney in Key West.