What is a “Violent Felony” in the Three Strikes law?

Is Every Felony a “Strike” in California?

California’s “Three Strikes” law was passed in 1994.  Many people think that every felony conviction is a “strike”.  They aren’t.  Only “serious” and “violent” felonies count as “strikes” under the law.

The “serious” felonies are listed in Penal Code 1192.7.  Here is a list of the “violent” felonies from Penal Code section 667.5(c):

  1. Murder or voluntary manslaughter.
  2. Mayhem.
  3. Rape as defined in paragraph (2) or (6) of subdivision (a) of Section 261 or paragraph (1) or (4) of subdivision (a) of Section 262.
  4. Sodomy as defined in subdivision (c) or (d) of Section 286.
  5. Oral copulation as defined in subdivision (c) or (d) of Section 288a.
  6. Lewd or lascivious act as defined in subdivision (a) or (b) of Section 288.
  7. Any felony punishable by death or imprisonment in the state prison for life.
  8. Any felony in which the defendant inflicts great bodily injury on any person other than an accomplice which has been charged and proved as provided for in Section 12022.7, 12022.8, or 12022.9 on or after July 1, 1977, or as specified prior to July 1, 1977, in Sections 213, 264, and 461, or any felony in which the defendant uses a firearm which use has been charged and proved as provided in subdivision (a) of Section 12022.3, or Section 12022.5 or 12022.55.
  9. Any robbery.
  10. Arson, in violation of subdivision (a) or (b) of Section 451.
  11. Sexual penetration as defined in subdivision (a) or (j) of Section 289.
  12. Attempted murder.
  13. A violation of Section 18745, 18750, or 18755. [explode device with intent to murder; explode device causing bodily injury; explode device causing death]
  14. Kidnapping.
  15. Assault with the intent to commit a specified felony, in violation of Section 220.
  16. Continuous sexual abuse of a child, in violation of Section 288.5.
  17. Carjacking, as defined in subdivision (a) of Section 215.
  18. Rape, spousal rape, or sexual penetration, in concert, in violation of Section 264.1.
  19. Extortion, as defined in Section 518, which would constitute a felony violation of Section 186.22 of the Penal Code.
  20. Threats to victims or witnesses, as defined in Section 136.1, which would constitute a felony violation of Section 186.22 of the Penal Code.
  21. Any burglary of the first degree, as defined in subdivision (a) of Section 460, wherein it is charged and proved that another person, other than an accomplice, was present in the residence during the commission of the burglary.
  22. Any violation of Section 12022.53. [personal use of a firearm during the commission of certain offenses]
  23. A violation of subdivision (b) or (c) of Section 11418. [possession of a weapon of mass destruction]

Joe Dane



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