Virginia has a three strikes law, which can affect a person’s sentence if they have been convicted of two prior felonies for violent crimes. If you are facing criminal charges for a violent offense and the three strikes law applies to your case, you would be sentenced to life in prison. Hiring an experienced criminal defense lawyer to mount an aggressive defense strategy is essential if you want to obtain the best possible outcome in your criminal case.
Violent Offenses Under Virginia’s Three Strikes Law
Under Virginia Code §19.2-297.1, the three strikes provision is only applicable if an individual has been convicted of two prior violent offenses and is convicted of a third violent crime. Offenses considered violent crimes under this law include:
- Felony sexual assault
- Voluntary manslaughter
- Malicious wounding
- Mob-related crimes
- Arson in an occupied structure or dwelling
Requirements That Must Be Met for the Virginia Three Strikes Law to Apply
If the three strikes law might apply to your case, it is essential to understand the specific requirements that must be met. They include:
- The law only applies to specific violent crimes.
- The offenses do not have to be identical.
- The crimes should not be associated with the same criminal act. They must be unrelated to each other.
- You must have been out of prison between the convictions.
- In rare cases, you may be eligible for a conditional release when you turn 60 years old and have served at least 10 years of your sentence. When you turn 65 years old, you only are required to have served five years of your sentence.
Have you been charged with a criminal offense in Virginia? Are you worried that the three strikes law will apply to your criminal case? Our dedicated criminal defense attorneys are here to explain what you can expect in your criminal case and to mount a strong defense for you. To learn more about how we can assist you, call our Manassas office at 888-DUI-LWYR or complete our convenient online form to schedule your free initial consultation today.