What you need to know about the Texas felony three strikes law

On Behalf of | May 30, 2024 | Criminal Defense

Facing criminal charges in Texas can be a very frightening experience. Texas is well known for imposing strict penalties for a variety of different criminal infractions, ranging from drug offenses to violent crimes. Those who get arrested for the first time often panic and may make mistakes that increase their risk of a conviction. They may also plead guilty because they assume doing so is the best option.

Anyone who has already dealt with the criminal justice system previously may have additional reason for concern, even though they may not feel as nervous after their arrest. Subsequent offenses similar to a prior conviction often lead to more serious penalties. Judges can impose escalating consequences for each offense after the first.

Even if someone avoids the same type of charges, they might end up facing serious criminal allegations after getting arrested and convicted multiple times. In Texas, anyone convicted of three felonies is at risk of enhanced penalties under the state’s three strikes law.

They could face up to 25 years in prison

The Texas threes strikes law aims to deter people from recidivism or repeatedly breaking the law. The name is a reference to baseball, where a batter is out after three strikes. The courts can impose much harsher penalties when defendants have two prior felony convictions.

Under this law, many people end up at risk of enhanced penalties after repeat criminal violations. A defendant may face anywhere from 25 years to lifetime incarceration depending on the circumstances. The three strikes law makes it of the utmost importance for people to respond appropriately to a felony charge if they have two prior convictions on their record. It can also be a powerful incentive to defend against first and second felony offenses.

Those who understand how Texas increases the potential penalties for second and third felony offenses can potentially use that information when deciding how to respond after an arrest. The three strikes law can make felony charges a much more serious issue for someone with a prior criminal record than they would be for someone with no criminal record or only a history of misdemeanor offenses.