California Three Strikes laws can ruin a person's life if they don't have a qualified Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer representing them. The California Three Strikes laws were designed to lower the crime rate, but they have largely damaged the lives of low-level offenders, and punished people guilty of misdemeanors with decades in prison.
Tyrone Hartsfield was found guilty last week of attempted first-degree murder in the shooting of Jacksonville Jaguar’s football star Richard Collier in 2008. Hartsfield, who has six prior felony convictions and has twice served time in Florida state prisons, was accused of shooting Collier six times while he sat in his Cadillac Escalade outside a Jacksonville apartment building. As a result of the shooting, Collier is now paralyzed from the waist down and has had his left leg amputated. Hartsfield had previously testified during the trial that he had had no involvement in the shooting. Prosecutors in the case believe Hartsfield shot Collier in retaliation after being knocked out in a physical altercation with Collier in a nightclub nearly eight months earlier. The jury deliberated for just under three hours before returning their guilty verdict to end the nine-day trial. Hartsfield, who is facing life in prison, is scheduled to be sentenced in December.
While this crime occurred in Florida, Los Angeles laws are also very strict in dealing with crimes such as attempted murder. Prosecutors in Los Angeles must prove that a defendant acted with deliberate, intentional and reckless or extreme disregard for human life. That may sound vague, but in simpler terms, the prosecution must show that the defendant either intended to kill someone or inflict injuries so severe that they most likely would have resulted in death. In Los Angeles, Hartsfield would also most likely be facing a life in prison sentence as he has had six prior felony convictions. In the state of California, certain felony crimes count as “strikes" under California Three Strikes laws, meaning that if a person has committed and been convicted of at least three eligible felonies, they are nearly always sent straight to a state prison for a life sentence, with very few possibilities of parole. Three Strikes laws were designed to deal harshly with repeat violent criminal offenders.
If you have been charged with a violent crime, or if you are in danger of being convicted under a California Three Strikes law, call the Los Angeles criminal defense attorneys at Kestenbaum, Eisner & Gorin, LLP today. Defending against such serious criminal charges can be difficult and complicated, but we have the courtroom experience in defending against criminal charges of all types.
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