An officer encountered the vehicle moments later at Placentia Avenue and Quartz Lane in Fullerton, California, but when the officer turned to pursue the suspects, they exited the car and ran through a nearby alley and into an apartment building.
One of the suspects, Pablo Luna Zurita of Fullerton, entered a garage and grabbed a nearby worker. Later, around 8:15 that evening, Zurita surrendered to the police and released their hostage unharmed.
Zurita is now facing charges for attempted murder, carrying a loaded firearm, auto theft, and participating in a criminal street gang, each of which can be charged as a felony in California.
The Consequences of a Felony Conviction in California
In California, a felony is a crime that can be punished by incarceration in a state prison and very steep fines. Unlike misdemeanors, there is no one-year limit on incarceration for a felony. Depending on the crime, you can be sentenced to as little as 16 months to life in prison.
Also, having a felony conviction on your criminal record can have destructive consequences in terms of getting or keeping a job, a professional license, a security clearance, the right to possess a firearm, or your ability to vote.
California Three Strikes Law
There are 3 categories of felony offenses in California arranged according to the severity of the crime and the punishment you may receive if convicted:
- Standard Felonies
- Serious Felonies
- Violent Felonies
Serious felonies and violent felonies such as murder, voluntary manslaughter, rape, kidnapping, robbery, carjacking and selling drugs to a minor count as strikes against you. If you have three or more strikes, you will be facing a sentence of 25 years to life in a state prison.
California’s Gang Sentencing Enhancement Law
Furthermore, if it can be proven that you committed the offense while working for the benefit of a gang, you may receive another mandatory sentence that will be added to the sentence for the felony for which you were convicted. This can mean spending an extra 5, 15, 25 years, or the rest of your life in prison.
Felony Probation in California
Felonies carry much more severe consequences than misdemeanors in general, and this extends to the type of probation you will receive if you are fortunate enough to avoid jail time. Felony probation, sometimes referred to as formal probation, is much more regimented and strict than misdemeanor probation.
If you are sentenced to felony probation, not only will you have a probation office or officer to report to, the court may also impose search and seizure conditions that permit you to be searched at any time, day or night, without the police needing probable cause or a warrant to do so.
Contact a Fullerton Criminal Defense Lawyer
If you care about your future, you should do everything possible to avoid a felony conviction. A knowledgeable and experienced Fullerton defense attorney can help you defend a felony charge. If you or loved one has been arrested and charged with a felony, contact a Fullerton criminal defense lawyer immediately.