Should I Take a Strike to Get a Better Plea Bargain?
I'll Take a Strike to Get Out of JailThis comment always distresses me particularly when it comes from young people who will have to live with it for a long time. First of all if you are in jail for a non-strike offense the DA will not give you a strike to let you out of jail. Strike offenses are defined in the Penal Code; if you don't qualify you won't get one. More importantly, even if you are in jail awaiting trial on a strike offense, you should let your attorney do everything possible to avoid the strike. On a Robbery charge for example your attorney may be able to negotiate it down to Theft from a Person, a non-strike offense. You say you don't care because you know you'll never re-offend. Let me tell you something. Every one in jail says they will never re-offend and every one wants a program, even people with 25 page rap sheets. You can't be sure you won't ever get in trouble again. No one can say they will never have a brush with the law. What if you are falsely accused and wrongly convicted?
Strike ConsequencesA strike means that any later felony offense will double the time you must do. A second strike means that ANY later felony offense could get you 25 to life, even for a non-strike offense. Do you really want to be living your life with that hanging over your head? Beyond that taking a strike as part of a plea bargain, even if it were warranted, will not get you out of jail any quicker. It may just get you transportation to state prison.
What if I Have No Choice?You always have a choice. Your attorney is best situated to advise you on how to exercise your choice. In some cases a strike cannot be avoided. If that is the case your attorney will tell you. But if it can be avoided you should fight it to the end even if you lose.