California Violent Felonies Law & Defense
California Penal Code 667.5
California PC 667.5 discusses the application of sentencing enhancements for prior prison terms. PC 667.5 also lists all violent felonies under the law. These violent felonies, along with all the serious felonies listed in PC 1192.7, comprise all of the felony crimes under California's Three Strikes Law.
According to PC 667.5, if the defendant is convicted of a violent felony within ten years of release from custody for a conviction of a prior violent felony, the defendant will have three years added to his or her sentence for each prior separate prior prison term. The three years added will be served consecutive to any new term. [PC 667.5(a)]
If the defendant was previously convicted of a non-violent felony within five years of a new felony offense, he or she will have one year added to any new prison term. The one year additional penalty for the prison prior will be served consecutive to any new prison term. [PC 667.5(b)]
For purposes of PC 667.5, a prison prior occurs when the defendant actually serves time in prison (as opposed to a suspended sentence or grant of probation). However, mandatory supervision can be considered a prison prior if the defendant's sentence was suspended for such purpose. [PC 667.5(b)].
A defendant who served prison time in a county jail under PC 1170(h) sentencing (Split Sentencing) is considered to have a prison prior. [PC 667.5(e)].
Serving a prison term includes any confinement time in any state prison or Federal penal institution as punishment for commission of an offense, including confinement in a hospital or other institution or facility credited as service of prison time in the jurisdiction of the confinement. [PC 667.5(h)]
Juveniles who served jail or prison commitments in the California Youth Authority are subject to enhancement penalties under PC 667.5. [PC 667.5(j)]
For purposes of prior prison enhancements, prisoners who were committed to the State Department of Mental health as a mentally disordered sex offender following a conviction of a felony, which commitment exceeded one year in jail, shall be deemed as having served a prison prison term. [PC 667.5(i)]
Enhancements for prison priors do not apply to subsequent misdemeanor convictions; however, due to the fact that the defendant has a prison prior, the defendant will likely suffer harsher punishments at sentencing on subsequent misdemeanor convictions.
For purposes of PC 667.5, a defendant is deemed to remain in prison custody for an offense until the official discharge from custody, including any period of mandatory supervision, or until release on parole or post release community supervision, whichever first occurs [PC 667.5(d)].
All crimes listed in subdivision C of PC 667.5, are considered violent crimes that are subject to sentencing enhancements. Those crimes are listed on the right side of this page.
Other sentencing enhancements:
The violent crimes listed in PC 667.5(c) are considered Strike Crimes under California's Three Strikes Law. In short, most, but not all of the offenses listed in PC 667.5(c), allow for less good time credits while in custody. Upon a second conviction for a strike offense the defendant's maximum jail or prison exposure doubles. Finally, upon a conviction for a third strike offense, the defendant could face up to 25 years to life in prison.
In addition, for subsequent convictions of felonies (violent and non-violent), where the defendant has a prior strike conviction (whether for any serious crime listed in PC 1192.7 or any violent crime listed PC 667.5(c)), the defendant may be limited in the amount of good time conduct credits that he or she can earn during any new prison commitment.
Application of Prop 57: California Proposition 57 allows for increased earnings of good time credits for convicted felons (violent and non-violent). Most of Prop 57 does not apply to violent crimes listed under PC 667.5 but there are some exceptions. To learn more, please visit our page Prop 57.
To learn more about California Penal Code 667.5, Enhancement for Prison Priors, California Three Strikes Law, or application of Prop 57, contact our criminal defense attorneys today.
Our criminal attorneys are successful and experienced. We have handled hundreds of criminal cases, including complex major felonies through trial. Our criminal attorneys are available to answer all of your criminal law and procedure question twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Call today!