A Woodland man was sentenced to 7 years and eight months behind bars for stealing a bag of shredded cheese and swiping a woman’s wallet from a store counter. Petty theft, both charges, but the seemingly harsh sentence is far less than what the prosecution was originally seeking.
The man has a fairly lengthy criminal background, according to this report from the Sacramento Bee. Originally, prosecutors sought a life sentence in this case, citing the state’s infamous “Three Strikes” laws. A psychological report, however, stated a life sentence wasn’t needed, pushing the prosecution to recommend the maximum sentence for two petty theft charges.
California’s Three Strikes law states that if you are convicted of a third felony, you can be sentenced to life in prison. This law has got a lot of attention over the years for its use in seemingly inconsequential crimes. Had the judge decided to sentence this particular man to life there would’ve no doubt been many outspoken opponents.
Still, the prosecution used the man’s criminal history to get a harsher sentence then what would have been applied on someone with no criminal background. Because of his priors, he got the maximum sentence.
When determining your sentence, the judge will use many factors. One of the greatest of these is your history. If this is your first criminal offense, you stand a better chance of getting off with probation or even time served and a fine. If, however, you have been in court before and particularly for the same charge you face this time, you may face a far more serious penalty.
Being nervous about your outcome at court is understandable. Even if you do have an extensive criminal history, we may be able to work out a plea agreement with the prosecution. Whether you are facing charges of theft, assault, or even DUI, call me today.
I can help you make sense of the charges against you and the potential penalties you may face.