What happens if you get three felonies?

If you have three felony convictions in California, you may be sentenced under California’s three strikes law, as described above. This law is applied whenever a defendant is convicted of serious or violent felonies. However, if the convictions were not for serious or violent crimes, then the fact of the prior convictions may be used to enhance your sentence in a different way.

Under California law, felony crimes typically have three potential sentences: a low, middle and high range. The sentence that a defendant receives will depend on the aggravating and mitigating factors in the case. Aggravating factors are those that make a crime more serious, such using a gun. Mitigating factors are those that make the crime less serious, or that show the need for leniency. These factors can be related to the crime or to you as a person, such as suffering from childhood trauma or being addicted to drugs.

If you have three felony convictions that are not “strikes” under California law, this will likely be considered an aggravating factor. A court will likely decide to increase your sentence based on other felony convictions, particularly if the crimes increased in seriousness over time. This could result in you receiving a sentence at the high end of the sentencing range.

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