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Understanding and Navigating New York’s Three Strikes Law

Smart, Strong, and Successful Defense Against Criminal Charges in the Hudson Valley

In the realm of criminal law, one of the most contentious and consequential statutes is the “Three Strikes Law.” Enacted in several states across America, including New York, these laws carry immense implications for defendants facing charges for serious criminal offenses. As a committed Goshen criminal defense law firm, Dupée & Monroe, P.C., has extensive experience defending people charged with violent felonies and other serious offenses in Orange County and throughout the Hudson Valley. Contact our office for vigorous defense against criminal charges in Goshen, Orange County, and beyond.

What Is the Three Strikes Law?

New York’s Three Strikes Law is a mechanism designed to severely punish individuals who are convicted of three or more serious criminal offenses. Its underlying philosophy is that repeat offenders of major crimes pose a significant threat to society and should therefore be subject to harsher sentences. The statute draws its name from the baseball phrase “three strikes and you’re out,” symbolizing that after three major offenses, a defendant faces mandatory life imprisonment or at least an extremely long prison sentence.

Which Offenses Can Count as Strikes?

New York’s Three Strikes Law encompasses a wide range of felonies. These are generally serious crimes that have inflicted, or have the potential to inflict, substantial harm upon others. Examples of eligible strike offenses include but are not limited to:

  1. Violent felonies: These are crimes such as murder, manslaughter, kidnapping, rape, arson, and armed robbery. Any conviction of such a crime could count as a strike.
  2. Serious drug offenses: This category includes the sale or manufacture of large amounts of controlled substances.
  3. Felony convictions against vulnerable individuals: Crimes committed against the elderly, children, or disabled persons can be strike offenses.
  4. Certain white-collar crimes: Some states include severe financial crimes such as embezzlement, fraud, or racketeering. Under New York’s habitual offender law, a fourth felony conviction can lead to an indeterminate life sentence no matter the nature of the fourth offense, so long as it is classified as a felony.

It’s important to note that to trigger the Three Strikes Law, the offenses need to be separate criminal episodes, not just separate charges from a single episode.

The Role of a Criminal Defense Attorney in Three Strikes and Habitual Offender Cases

Facing charges under the Three Strikes Law can be daunting, and the consequences of a conviction can drastically alter a defendant’s life. This is where the importance of an experienced criminal defense attorney comes into play. At Dupée & Monroe, P.C., our role goes beyond simple representation—we are committed to aggressively defending your rights and securing the best possible outcome for your case.

  1. Case Assessment: Understanding the nuances of the charges against you and the possible defenses is vital. Our attorneys have extensive knowledge of New York’s habitual offender and repeat offender laws, allowing us to thoroughly assess your case and craft a defense strategy.
  2. Negotiations: Depending on the circumstances, an attorney may be able to negotiate with the prosecution to have the charges reduced, or even dismissed. This could potentially remove the threat of the Three Strikes Law entirely.
  3. Trial Representation: If your case goes to trial, you need a lawyer who can effectively communicate your defense and challenge the prosecution’s evidence. Our experienced attorneys are seasoned trial lawyers who know how to make persuasive arguments and scrutinize the evidence presented against you.
  4. Post-Conviction Relief: Even after a conviction, a defense attorney can still help. They may be able to appeal your conviction or sentence, or work on obtaining a pardon or clemency.

Get Help Defending Against Charges Under New York’s Three Strikes Law

Being charged under the Three Strikes Law is an extremely serious matter. At Dupée & Monroe, we understand what’s at stake and have the expertise and commitment necessary to help our clients navigate these challenging circumstances. We’re committed to protecting your rights and ensuring you receive the most robust defense possible. Call us today for a consultation to review the charges against you and develop a strategy for success.

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