top of page

California "One Strike" Crimes
PC 667.61 & PC 667.61(c)

California’s “One Strike Law” is found at California Penal Code Section 667.61. Essentially, a “One Strike” crime is among California’s most egregious crimes, such as kidnapping for the purposes of committing a sex offense (PC 209(b)). The list of “one strike” crimes found at PC 667.61 is listed below.

Prison Sentence: A conviction for a PC 667.61 crime may result in a prison sentence from 15 years to life, or 25 years to life (depending on the crime and the circumstances of the crime). This ‘life prison sentence’ is possible even if the defendant has no prior criminal “strike” convictions.

Crime + Special Circumstance Required

California’s “One Strike” crimes are serious and violent sex crimes that carry enhanced penalties because of the circumstances under which the crime is alleged to have been committed.

For example, the crime of lewd and lascivious act upon a minor under fourteen (14), which is charged as PC 288(a), has a maximum punishment of up to eight (8) years in prison upon conviction. However, if the defendant is convicted of kidnapping the victim to commit the PC 288(a) crime, then the punishment is up to life in prison. This is because the crime of lewd and lascivious act upon a minor under fourteen (14), along with the special circumstance (kidnapping), is a California “One Strike” crime found at PC 667.61.

Note: The "life" prison sentence is not the only punishment after a conviction of any PC 667.61 crimes (or any other crime). Other penalties include, but are not limited to, sex offender registration, parole terms, fines, restitution, civil lawsuits, criminal protective orders, loss of immigration status, loss of a professional license, and more.

List of PC 667.61 “One Strike” Crimes (Abbrev.)

Special Circumstances Required

In order for the district attorney to prove that the defendant committed a PC 667.61 crime, the district attorney must prove that at least one of the crimes listed above was committed, and that when the defendant committed one of the above-listed crimes, a “special circumstance” existed. The most common PC 667.61 “special circumstances” include:

Prior Sex Crime Conviction: The defendant has been previously convicted of an offense listed above, including an offense committed in another jurisdiction that includes all elements of an offense specified in subdivision (c) [PC 667.61(d)(1)].

Kidnapping to Commit Offense: The defendant kidnapped the victim of the present offense, and the movement of the victim substantially increased the risk of harm to the victim over and above that level of risk necessarily inherent in the underlying offense in subdivision (c) [PC 667.61(d)(2)]

Mayhem or Torture: The defendant inflicted aggravated mayhem or torture on the victim or another person in the commission of the present offense in violation of Section 205 or 206 [PC 667.61(d)(3)].

Sex Crime with Burglary: The defendant committed the present offense during the commission of a burglary of the first degree, as defined in subdivision (a) of Section 460, with intent to commit an offense specified in subdivision (c) [PC 667.61(d)(4)].

Bodily Injury: The defendant personally inflicted bodily harm on the victim who was under 14 years of age [PC 667.61(d)(7)].

Dangerous Weapon Used: The defendant personally used a dangerous or deadly weapon or a firearm in the commission of the present offense [PC 667.61(e)(3) Abbrev.].

Multiple Victims: The defendant has been convicted in the present case or cases of committing an offense, which is listed above, against more than one victim [PC 667.61(e)(4)] (Summarized & Abbrev.).

Binding or Tying or Victim: The defendant engaged in the tying or binding of the victim or another person in the commission of the present offense [PC 667.61(e)(5)].


Note: Per PC 667.61, some crimes and special allegations under CA “One Strike” law mandate a minimum prison term of 15-life or 25-life upon conviction. Upon a PC 667.61 conviction, the length of prison sentence is determined by the underlying crime and the special circumstance(s) proved, if any.

PC 667.61 Crimes Defense

Common defenses to CA “One Strike” criminal charges include, but are not limited to, the following: insufficient evidence to prove the underlying criminal charge, insufficient evidence to prove the special allegation, coerced confession, mistake of law, insanity, alibi, demurrer, statute of limitations, and more.

Note: PC 667.61 crimes have special limitations against concurrent sentencing, suspended sentencing, probation sentencing, and even a judge’s dismissal authority under PC 1385.


To learn more about California’s “One Strike” law, or Penal Code 667.61, contact our criminal defense lawyer today. Our criminal defense lawyers offer free consultation, and we are available to discuss your case any day of the week. We represent persons charged with any felony or misdemeanor crime in the Inland Empire, including the cities of Rialto, Redlands, San Bernardino, Yucaipa, Riverside, Ontario, Rancho Cucamonga, Victorville, Moreno Valley, and more. Call today!


San Bernardino County

Rancho Cucamonga, Redlands, Rialto, Ontario, San Bernardino, Yucaipa, Ontario, & More

PC 667.61: CA "One Strike" Sex Crimes, PC 288(a), PC 288.5(a), PC 289, PC 286, PC 261, PC 262, PC 264.1, PC 288.7, Redlands, Rialto, Rancho Cucamonga, Ontario, Yucaipa, San Bernardino, Victorville
PC667.61, Penal Code 667.61(c), 667.61(e), 667.61(b), 667.61(a), sentence, punishment, penalty, criminal defense lawyers, lawyer, attorney, pc288(a), pc288.5(a), pc289, pc286, pc261(a), pc264.1, prison, probation, rialto, rancho cucamonga, fontana, san bernardino, riverside, moreno valley, banning, beaumont, victorville, law, legal, sex offender registration

CA Sex Crimes

PC 667.61, Penal Code 667.61, One Strike, CA, California, PC, Sex Crimes
bottom of page