You need to understand when this statute could apply to you if you face felony charges in our commonwealth. You should also retain an experienced criminal defense lawyer to defend you to try to get the charges dismissed or reduced to a less serious offense to avoid the harsh consequences of being sentenced under the three strikes law.
What Is Virginia’s Three Strikes Law?
Our state’s three strikes rule only applies when certain violent felonies were committed, and the individual is being convicted of a third or subsequent violent crime. If this is true, the penalty would be a mandatory sentence of life in prison. This is considered an enhanced punishment.
Under Virginia Code §19.2-297.1, violent offenses include the following:
- Felony sexual assault crimes
- Voluntary manslaughter
- Malicious wounding and malicious felony assault
- Mob-related felony offenses
- Arson of an occupied dwelling or structure
Here are other key points about the three strikes law:
- It only applies if there are three or more convictions for the violent crimes listed in the statute.
- The offenses do not have to be identical for the rule to apply.
- The convictions must be for separate criminal acts.
- The person must have been out of prison between the convictions.
Is It Possible to Be Released From Prison if You Are Sentenced Under the Three Strikes Rule?
In limited circumstances, you may be released from prison even if you are sentenced under the three strikes law. You can request a conditional release in these situations:
- You are 60 years old and have served at least 10 years of your prison sentence.
- You are 65 years old and have served a minimum of five years of your sentence.
If you are facing criminal charges in Virginia Beach or Norfolk, contact us to learn about what you can expect in your criminal case and how our skilled criminal defense lawyers can aggressively fight the charges you face. Call our Norfolk office at 757-625-1214 or complete our convenient online form to schedule your free initial consultation to learn more about how we can assist you.