The Three Strikes Law in Nevada

Three strikes, and you’re out. You’ve probably heard that phrase used in baseball, but did you know it also applies to criminal law in Nevada?

The stated goal of three strikes laws is to get violent, habitual criminals off the streets. However, they can also trap people in the criminal justice system for far too long. If you are facing the prospect of many years to a lifetime in prison because of the federal three strikes law in Las Vegas, you need an aggressive defense attorney who will fight to protect your rights and your freedom. That’s why you need to call the Law Offices of Joel M. Mann right away for the qualified representation you deserve.

Joel M. Mann understands the consequences a third felony conviction can have on your life, and he will be ready to defend you. When you hire Joel as your three strikes lawyer in Las Vegas, you get an experienced and aggressive advocate who will explore every possible pathway to help you avoid a mandatory life sentence. If you’ve been charged with a felony in Nevada, contact Joel today to get started on your defense. Your future depends on it.

History of the Three Strikes Law

Passed by the U.S. Congress in 1994, the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act issued sentencing enhancements that would apply to convicted criminals with three serious violent or drug-related felonies on their records. Several states followed suit, including Nevada, which passed a habitual offender law to crack down on criminals with multiple convictions.

How Does the Federal Three Strikes Law Work?

The Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 imposes a mandatory sentence of life in prison without parole on a convicted felon if all three of the following criteria apply:

  • That person has been charged with a “serious violent felony.”
  • They have two or more previous felony convictions at the state or federal level.
  • At least one of the previous convictions is a “serious violent felony” (the other may be a serious drug offense).

There are some important notes to mention. First, these must be actual convictions, not simply charges. That means if you get charged with a felony while awaiting trial on another felony, that additional felony charge will not be counted towards the three strikes. For example, if an individual with one felony conviction already on their criminal record is charged with armed robbery but then commits voluntary manslaughter while awaiting trial on the robbery charge, he will not face a mandatory life sentence if convicted because he does not yet have three convictions.

Second, the three felonies must occur as separate incidents. For example, suppose a person with one felony conviction on their criminal record commits armed robbery and, in the process, also kills someone. They might be charged with felony murder, but they will not face a mandatory life sentence if convicted because the second and third felonies occurred in the same incident.

Which Crimes Fall Under the Federal Three Strikes Law?

Both federal and state crimes fall under the three strikes law. That includes crimes such as:

Which Crimes Count as Serious Violent Felonies and Drug Offenses?

The following offenses are considered “serious violent felonies” and therefore count towards the three strikes law:

  • Murder
  • Manslaughter
  • Sexual offenses such as rape and sexual assault
  • Kidnapping
  • Robbery

Generally, any crime involving the use of force or significant risk of force that results in a sentence of 10 or more years in prison is considered a serious violent felony and falls under the three-strikes law.

The following offenses are considered “serious drug offenses” and therefore count towards the three strikes law:

  • Continuing criminal enterprise
  • Distribution, manufacture, or possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance
  • Importing or exporting a controlled substance

How to Defend Against Federal “Three Strikes” Charges

Once you get three “strikes” on your criminal record, it can be very difficult to avoid the mandatory sentence of life in prison. That’s why you need to act immediately after you’ve been charged with a felony. Here are the critical steps to take to fight the federal three strikes law:

  • Hire a skilled criminal defense attorney – As soon as you’ve been charged with a felony, your first call should be to a skilled, aggressive criminal defense lawyer in Las Vegas who can fight for your rights. Whether it’s your first, second, or third felony charge, you need to act quickly to mount a vigorous offense and avoid being subjected to the three strikes mandatory sentence. Attorney Joel M. Mann will fight aggressively to defend your rights. He knows what’s on the line, and he will work tirelessly to protect your freedom.
  • Fight the charge – Your criminal defense attorney can fight to get the charge dismissed based on the circumstances of your case, such as insufficient evidence, illegal search or seizure, or police misconduct.
  • Negotiate a plea deal – If the charges stick, your attorney can try to negotiate a plea deal with the prosecutor. That means you would plead guilty to a lesser charge, avoiding a third felony conviction and the mandatory sentence of life in prison under the three strikes law.
  • Appeal the conviction – If you are found guilty, it doesn’t have to stop there. Attorney Joel M. Mann is an experienced appellate lawyer, so he can handle your appeal as well.

To Learn More, Contact Attorney Joel M. Mann Today

If you are facing a felony charge in Nevada, contact the Law Offices of Joel M. Mann today to speak with Joel about your case. Joel Mann is a National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers member and is rated 10.0 Superb on Avvo. He believes strongly that every person deserves a vigorous defense, and he will be ready to answer your questions and discuss your specific situation when you call or reach out to us online.