A judge sentenced a Lake Isabella man to 17 years on prison after he beat a child molester to death. Initially, the man had faced murder charges, but a jury acquitted him, instead convicting him of voluntary manslaughter. The victim had committed sex crimes against children in the past. One of the factors in the man’s sentence was an enhancement for having a prior serious felony conviction.
A new ruling from the 5th District Court of Appeals finds that judges may have more sentencing discretion. Senate Bill 1393, which just took effect, allows judges to dismiss sentence enhancements. SB 1393 does not require judges to strike sentence enhancements, but rather gives them more judicial discretion.
The defendant had a prior felony assault conviction on his record from 2009. The sentence enhancement extended his sentence by five years. The new law allows judges to exercise discretion in the furtherance of justice. In this case, the man’s sentence has been overturned and remanded to the trial court for consideration. He remains convicted of involuntary manslaughter, but the court could resentence his to serve less time.
Ventura sex crimes attorney
When you face charges for sexual offenses, your best strategy is to hire an experienced, aggressive sex crimes attorney like Robert Helfend. Mr. Helfend has nearly 35 years of experience in criminal defense. He takes sex crimes cases in Ventura County and throughout Southern California.
SB 1393 leaves open the possibility that judges can be more flexible with the state’s rigid sentencing laws. California’s Three Strikes Law provides extended penalties for second and third felony convictions. For those with a prior felony conviction, drastic increases in sentencing can rob years from your life. Often, non-violent felonies can count as a second strike, bringing you one step away from lifetime incarceration.
That’s why you need an experienced criminal defense attorney by your side. Mr. Helfend will work tirelessly to get the charges against you reduced or dropped. When that’s not possible, he will work toward the best possible outcome for your case.
Don’t rely on inexperience and don’t assume that you can’t stand up against the court system in California. Contact Robert Helfend or call toll-free at (800) 834-6434, (805) 273-5611, (310) 456-3317 or (818) 591-2809 for an immediate consultation on your Ventura sex crimes/domestic violence case.
Photo Credit: Patrick Feller, via Flickr.com