What is a “serious felony” in the Three Strikes law?

Is any felony charge a “strike”?

California’s “Three Strikes” law was passed in 1994.  Many people think that every felony conviction is a “strike” so a third felony must mean they’re facing 25-life under the “three strikes” law.  Not so.  Only “serious” and “violent” felonies are strikes.

Under Penal Code section 1192.7(c), the following crimes are listed as “serious” felonies:

  1. Murder or voluntary manslaughter;
  2. mayhem;
  3. rape;
  4. sodomy by force, violence, duress, menace, threat of great bodily injury, or fear of immediate and unlawful bodily injury on the victim or another person;
  5. oral copulation by force, violence, duress, menace, threat of great bodily injury, or fear of immediate and unlawful bodily injury on the victim or another person;
  6. lewd or lascivious act on a child under 14 years of age;
  7. any felony punishable by death or imprisonment in the state prison for life;
  8. any felony in which the defendant personally inflicts great bodily injury on any person, other than an accomplice, or any felony in which the defendant personally uses a firearm;
  9. attempted murder;
  10. assault with intent to commit rape or robbery;
  11. assault with a deadly weapon or instrument on a peace officer;
  12. assault by a life prisoner on a noninmate;
  13. assault with a deadly weapon by an inmate;
  14. arson;
  15. exploding a destructive device or any explosive with intent to injure;
  16. exploding a destructive device or any explosive causing bodily injury, great bodily injury, or mayhem;
  17. exploding a destructive device or any explosive with intent to murder;
  18. any burglary of the first degree;
  19. robbery or bank robbery;
  20. kidnapping;
  21. holding of a hostage by a person confined in a state prison;
  22. attempt to commit a felony punishable by death or imprisonment in the state prison for life;
  23. any felony in which the defendant personally used a dangerous or deadly weapon;
  24. selling, furnishing, administering, giving, or offering to sell, furnish, administer, or give to a minor any heroin, cocaine, phencyclidine (PCP), or any methamphetamine-related drug, as described in paragraph (2) of subdivision (d) of Section 11055 of the Health and Safety Code, or any of the precursors of methamphetamines, as described in subparagraph (A) of paragraph (1) of subdivision (f) of Section 11055 or subdivision (a) of Section 11100 of the Health and Safety Code;
  25. any violation of subdivision (a) of Section 289 where the act is accomplished against the victim’s will by force, violence, duress, menace, or fear of immediate and unlawful bodily injury on the victim or another person;
  26. grand theft involving a firearm;
  27. carjacking;
  28. any felony offense, which would also constitute a felony violation of Section 186.22;
  29. assault with the intent to commit mayhem, rape, sodomy, or oral copulation, in violation of Section 220;
  30. throwing acid or flammable substances, in violation of Section 244;
  31. assault with a deadly weapon, firearm, machinegun, assault weapon, or semiautomatic firearm or assault on a peace officer or firefighter, in violation of Section 245;
  32. assault with a deadly weapon against a public transit employee, custodial officer, or school employee, in violation of Section 245.2, 245.3, or 245.5;
  33. discharge of a firearm at an inhabited dwelling, vehicle, or aircraft, in violation of Section 246;
  34. commission of rape or sexual penetration in concert with another person, in violation of Section 264.1;
  35. continuous sexual abuse of a child, in violation of Section 288.5;
  36. shooting from a vehicle, in violation of subdivision (c) or (d) of Section 26100;
  37. intimidation of victims or witnesses, in violation of Section 136.1;
  38. criminal threats, in violation of Section 422;
  39. any attempt to commit a crime listed in this subdivision other than an assault;
  40. any violation of Section 12022.53;
  41. a violation of subdivision (b) or (c) of Section 11418; and
  42. any conspiracy to commit an offense described in this subdivision.

Joe Dane



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