Many of us condemn the foolish acts of our own youth. Luckily, most people mature, leave behind the crazy, restless and often, reckless acts of being a teen or young adult. Those whose zany actions caused them to be arrested and charged with a crime may have more to worry about than side glances from neighbors. Habitual offender laws have been enacted in Washington with the idea of imposing more serious penalties when someone is guilty of committing crimes repeatedly. If you have one charge on your record that falls into this category of crimes, you will need to be concerned that you do not end up in trouble twice more.
Three Strike Laws
Habitual offender laws, also known as Three Strike Laws, were first enacted in the United States back in the early 1990s. The Department of Justice aimed to reduce serious crimes and ultimately, violent crimes through the strategy of imposing severely harsh penalties on those who had committed multiple crimes. Today, 28 states have enacted versions of this law.
“Strike” Crimes in Washington
Among the crimes that fall under the “Strike” category in Washington, there are serious offenses. Here is a list of such “Strike” crimes:
- Rape in the first degree
- Rape of a child in the first degree
- Child molestation in the first degree
- Indecent liberties by forcible compulsion
- Murder in the first and second degree
- Homicide by abuse
- Kidnapping in the first degree
- Kidnapping in the second degree
- Assault in the first degree
- Assault in the second degree
- Assault of a child in the first degree
Robbery and burglary may be the most common of these serious crimes. Robbery means stealing something from someone by force, threat of force, or by causing fear. If you have a robbery conviction already, here is where the crimes of your youth can follow you into adulthood. Because robbery is a “Strike” crime and if you are charged with another of these crimes in your lifetime, one more conviction and your life could be spent behind bars in prison. Burglary is defined as a crime where the perpetrator breaks into someone's home or property with the intention of committing a crime. Once again, two additional convictions in the “Strike” crime category and you could be imprisoned for life. If you find yourself in any of these scenarios, you will need the counsel of a skilled criminal defense attorney to argue your case to the court and the jury. Without a skilled attorney at your side, you could lose your case, and be staring down a lifetime of incarceration.
Steve Karimi is a former prosecutor who is fully prepared to understand your situation and create your best defense. He is knowledgeable about the law and knows the best chances for successful defense tactics. If you are facing a “third strike” offense, call Karimi Law Office today to schedule a consultation. Your future could depend on it.