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Texas’ Three Strikes Law

You may have heard of California’s three strikes law before, but you probably didn’t know that Texas has a three strikes law as well.

Three strikes laws are intended to incarcerate repeat offenders for long periods of time. The idea is that felons get three strikes, just like in baseball. On the third strike — or third convicted felony — the prison sentence for the crime becomes severe. In Texas this means 25 years to life in jail.

Three strikes laws are intended to keep repeat offenders out of the general population and deter others from following in their footsteps. In California’s case, however, the law was accomplishing the wrong things. While it managed to lock up repeat violent criminals, it also caught up serial shoplifters and drug abusers who weren’t posing much of a threat to anyone.

California’s law was challenged a few times as a violation of constitutional rights. In the Supreme Court case Lockyer v. Andrade, Leandro Andrade asserted that the law violated the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment. Andrade had been sentenced to life in prison for stealing nine videotapes from two California K-Marts. The court rejected this argument and others brought to it.

In the past election cycle, however, California voters amended this law to keep people like Andrade from under its net. The revised law says that the three strikes rule only applies when the third felony is of a “serious or violent” nature.

If you’re facing a third felony conviction, you need a Texas criminal defense attorney you can count on. At the Kyle Law Firm we take felony cases very seriously and will fight to defend your rights and secure your freedom. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.

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