The FBI estimates that there are more than 33,000 violent gangs operating in the United States. Laws are in place to make it illegal to commit serious offenses on behalf of a gang, to join a gang, or to maintain membership in a gang.
Gang charges may be part of state or federal laws. They include sentencing enhancements and laws that make gang crimes serious offenses. Some organized crime laws may also apply to gang-related crimes. Gang crime charges are in addition to the charges of the original charges and carry severe penalties if convicted.
The prosecutor may add gang crimes to other charges. The prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the crime you committed was part of gang activity.
- In order to convict you of gang crimes the prosecutor must prove that you committed a crime, that you were a gang member or affiliate.
- The prosecutor must prove that you committed the crime to further or benefit a gang. You must have intended to further the gang or aid in gang activities.
- Gang crimes are often violent and are drug or property related. Common gang crimes include robbery, homicide, drug trafficking, gun crimes, prostitution, carjacking, and others.
- You may be charged with a gang crime even if you are not a gang member. If you or participated in a crime with a gang member, you may be charged with a gang crime.
- If you are facing serious gang crime charges, call us today. We are here to help and will provide a free consultation.
California Penal Code 186.22 (STEP) defines a criminal street gang as a formal or informal group of three or more people with a common name, sign, or symbol, one of whose primary activities is the commission of at least one serious crime from a long list of state crimes that include violence and drug trafficking, and who engage in a pattern of gang activity.”
Federal Criminal Street Gangs Law, 18 USC 521, may apply as well as other laws. For instance, a gang whose primary purpose is drug trafficking may have charges under the Continuing Criminal Enterprise statute (CCE), USC 848, also called the Kingpin statute.
- The prosecutor must prove you committed a crime and are a gang member or were acting on behalf of a gang, or to further your status with a gang.
- You may be charged with gang crimes even if you are not currently a gang member. The prosecutor must establish you were acting on behalf of a gang or to become a gang member.
- In defending gang charges, your attorney will need to provide evidence that disputes gang alliance or proves that you are not a gang member or affiliate.
If you or a loved one is facing gang crime charges, call our firm today. We are here to listen. We are here to help, and we can help you fight for your future. Give us a call today.
If you have been charged with
gang crimes, call 805-477-0070 now.
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The Law Offices of David Lehr provides legal representation to individuals facing felony charges of gang crimes in Ventura, Oxnard, and Camarillo, California. No attorney or law firm can make any promises or guarantee an outcome for your criminal case. The contents presented on this site are for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Visiting this website does not establish an attorney/client relationship.
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