Posted on March 11, 2017

Explanation of a California “Violent Felony” | PC 667.5(c)

In California, contrary to popular belief, not all felony offenses are “strikes”. California categorizes strike offenses into two categories: serious felonies and violent felonies. A violent felony has a greater degree of aggravation often carrying a mandatory state prison sentence. Some examples of violent felonies include murder, mayhem, rape, and kidnapping.

A violent felony is alleged based on the underlying crime itself. For instance, murder allegations automatically carrying a strike allegation. Violent felonies are codified under Penal Code 664.7 and a conviction requires a defendant to serve 85% of their prison sentence, whereas a serious felony allows 50% credit.

A violent felony is applicable to California’s Three Strike laws where three convictions of a strike offense carry a mandatory 25 to life prison sentence. The rational is that the California legislature finds that these crimes merit special consideration when imposing a sentence to display societies condemnation for these extraordinary crimes of violence against the person.

For more information or if you or a loved one has been charged with a violent felony, contact an experienced Orange County Criminal Defense Attorney.

Some examples of PC 664.7 include:

  • Murder
  • Rape
  • Arson
  • Robbery
  • Attempted Murder
  • Any crime punishable by death or life in prison
  • Extortion carries out for the benefit of a criminal street gang

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