The Bakersfield Californian is reporting that the recent accident involving a Kern County Sheriff’s Deputy and two pedestrians (which resulted in the deaths of those pedestrians) was a result of the officer responding to a report of a stolen vehicle. Whether or not the officer’s siren and emergency lights were activated at the time of the accident is still unknown (to the public). The story is tragic in every respect and one can only hope that Sheriff Donny Youngblood is sincere when he says the department as a whole is deeply saddened by the deaths. Unfortunately, this evokes memories of similar incidents in which innocent pedestrians have been killed during police pursuits of fleeing criminal suspects. Understandably, the public outrage directed to the defendants in those cases was harsh, as was the response of both law enforcement and the District Attorney’s Office in their prosecution of the defendants. At this point, given the public comments posted in relation to the story, it appears that at least the public is concerned about the prudence (or lack thereof) of the officer’s actions. One can hope that that level of concern is mirrored within the District Attorney’s Office once the investigation is complete and the case is submitted for a determination of whether or not to file criminal charges.
According to the New York Times, nearly one third of American adults have been arrested for a criminal offense by the age of 23. In my experience, arrests at this early age generally have one of two effects on the person arrested: they either act as a wake-up call and lead the young adult to come face-to-face with the reality that poor choices can lead to some very serious negative consequences, or they simply become remembered as the first, in a long history of run-ins with the criminal justice system.
As the article implies, how a young adult addresses their first encounter with the criminal justice system system can play a key role in the development of the remainder of their adult life. Given the fact that schools and employers are now using the internet and the vast array of information available it provides to screen potential job or school applicants, it is imperative that young adults who find themselves charged with a crime, yet who are also mindful of their future prospects, retain an experienced criminal defense attorney with an eye toward limiting any possible lasting damage of an arrest and/or conviction.
The law in California on “Strikes” can be very confusing, mainly because there are different types of “Strikes” and, depending on what type of “Strike” you have been charged with, the difference determines what percentage of your sentence you will actually serve. In California, “Strikes” are categorized as either “Serious Felonies” or “Violent Felonies”.
“Serious Felonies” are defined by California Penal Code section 1192.7. Depending on your prior criminal history, if you are convicted of a “Serious Felony,” you will have a “Strike” on your record, but you will serve only half of whatever sentence is imposed (commonly referred to as “half time”).
On the other hand, “Violent Felonies” are defined by California Penal Code section 667.5. Convictions for “Violent Felonies” will also result in a “Strike” on your record, but also carry the added consequence of having to serve 85% of any sentence imposed.
If you have been charged with an offense that you believe may result in a “Strike” on your record, or if you have questions about prior convictions and whether or not you have a “Strike” prior, call us today for your free initial consultation.
1522 18th Street STE 211
Bakersfield, CA 93301
Phone: (661) 776-JURY (5879)
- California’s Gang Enhancement Laws ExplainedMay 7, 2018 - 10:00 am
California is one of the three states in the West and North Central region of the United States that has the highest number of members who are reported to blame for 90% of crimes. Because of this, legislators have enacted tough sentencing laws in order to curb gang activities and deter gang-related crimes. These […]