The State of California is aggressive in punishing gang related offenses. Ventura County is especially tough in prosecuting someone accused of a gang related crime. Murder, assault, theft, drug charges, weapon violations, any criminal offense , may result in increased punishment if it was committed in connection with gang activities.
Gang Related Crimes (Penal Code §186.20-186.33) - anyone who commits a felony for the benefit of a gang will receive a mandatory prison sentence in addition and consecutive to the penalty he/she receives for the underlying felony.
California Street Terrorism Enforcement and Prevention Act (Penal Code § 186.22) - California's street gang enhancement law states that anyone who commits a felony for the benefit of a gang suffers mandatory sentencing that could mean additional prison time of anywhere from 5 years to 25 to life!
Engaging in Gang Activity: Engaging in gang activity; elements of this offense include:
• active participation in a gang
• knowledge that the gang's members "engage in a pattern of criminal gang activity"
• willful promotion or assistance in any felonious gang conduct
This offense, if proven, can result in a misdemeanor punishable by a mandatory 1 year sentence in county jail or a felony, punishable by 16 months, two or three years in CA State Prison.
Active Participation in a Gang: Participation in a gang that is more than nominal or passive. Direct and active commission of a felony offense or aided and abetted felonious conduct by members of a gang.
California's Criminal Gang Sentencing Enhancement Law: Increases the punishment for a person who is convicted of a felony committed for the benefit of, at the direction of, or in association with any criminal street gang with the specific intent to promote further, or assist in any criminal conduct by gang members.
Often the line between engaging in gang activity and active participation in a gang are indistinguishable and blurred. You need a gang related crimes lawyer who understands all aspects of defense for gang related offenses. If you or a loved one is being investigated or charged with a gang related crime call Schwarz & Powell to defend you. We will defend you with the vigor and experience of Ventura County's top criminal legal team.
Schwartz & Powell Has More Not Guilty Verdicts Than Any Other Law Firm in Ventura County. Schwartz & Powell serves Ventura, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Kern, San Diego Counties.
Call us at 805-658-8955.
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