Serious or Violent Felony… Why the Distinction Matters at the time for Sentencing
If you are being charged with a serious and/or a violent felony you are currently facing a “strike” under California’s “three strike law” and it is a good idea that you contact an attorney to help you fight your case. However, there are other distinctions that come into play regarding serious and/or violent felonies in California. Not only do they carry strikes as consequences of accepting a plea or being found guilty of, but they also are treated differently in the eyes of the court as far as sentencing and credit calculations are considered.
A serious felony will carry with it a sentencing and credit calculation at the rate of 50%. This means that if you plea to a serious felony or are found guilty of a serious felony you will accumulate credit at the rate of 50%. This is best understood with an example. If you spend 100 actual days in custody you will receive 100 days of conduct credit and therefore will essentially only serve ½ of any sentence that is imposed.
A violent felony is drastically different then a serious felony for the purposes of sentencing and credit calculation. What this means is that a plea or a conviction on a violent felony will not give you a sentence of “half time” rather you only accumulate credit at the rate of 15%. So in the same example above if you spend 100 actual days in custody you will only receive 15 days of conduct credit. So before accepting a plea to a violent felony please consider your other options and try negotiating a plea with the district attorney for different charge that will not keep you incarcerated for a longer period of time.
If you do not know whether you charge is a serious or a violent felony contact an attorney at The Haynes Law Firm, APLC at (833) 526-5197 so we may assist you and answer any questions you may have and ascertain what type of charge you are facing.