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Texas’ 3 strikes criminal sentencing law explained

On Behalf of | Mar 8, 2023 | Assault |

In baseball, when a pitcher throws three strikes, the batter is out. In Texas criminal law, it’s three strikes and you’re in prison.

We are talking about Texas’ “three strikes” law, which is part of the state statute that discusses how to sentence people convicted of a crime with prior convictions already on their records. As you can probably guess, the law enhances the penalties for repeat offenders, culminating in the controversial three-strikes section.

When the three strikes law comes into play

The law states that someone previously convicted of a felony will face 25 years to life in prison if:

  • They have two previous felony convictions, and
  • The second conviction was for an offense that occurred after the first conviction was final

The only exception is if the most recent conviction is for a state jail felony, the lowest-level felony in the penal code. Examples include check forgery, filing a false police report and interfering with child custody. The law is intended to target those with a pattern of convictions for serious, usually violent crimes, such as murder, manslaughter, domestic violence and weapons offenses.

Facing a felony assault charge?

The stakes don’t get much higher than a life sentence. Whether you are eligible for a three strikes-level sentence or you had a clean criminal record before your arrest, you need a clear strategy and understanding of your rights to deal with a felony assault or similar charge. Working with an experienced criminal defense attorney is your only chance at fair treatment by the court and prosecutors. No matter what the charges against you are, there may be options to get them reduced or dismissed before trial.

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