If you are convicted of a criminal offense that is gang-related, you face much harsher penalties than otherwise. Under California law, gang members and those who associate with them are subject to what is called gang enhancement law. This means that if you are convicted of a felony that is done for the benefit of a gang, you will face a separate and consecutive prison sentence in addition to the penalties you face for the underlying felony.
If you are facing allegations of being a gang member as well as criminal charges in Tulare, Kings, or Fresno County, you will need an experienced attorney. The Visalia criminal defense attorney at the Law Offices of Christopher Martens is a trial lawyer who is adept at defending criminal cases of all kinds and who will work vigorously on your behalf to defend your rights. You can discuss your case in a free consultation to get the knowledgeable legal advice you need in the face of any gang crime charges.
If you are convicted of a misdemeanor committed for the purpose of promoting a gang, it becomes a felony. If you are convicted of a felony that is gang-related, 5 years can be added to your sentence. If you are convicted of a violent felony that was gang-related, such as assault with a weapon, your sentence can be increased by 10 years. Some gang-related crimes can result in life sentences.
Most prosecutors use 10 factors to prove that you are a member of a gang. These same factors are used by law enforcement to document gang members so that harsher sentences can be imposed. You must have at least 3 of the 10 factors to be labeled as a gang member. These factors are:
If you are questioned by law enforcement regarding being a gang member, involvement in a gang, or gang affiliation, you have the right to remain silent. Even if you are not under arrest, you should not discuss anything with police officers that has to do with gangs. The questions may appear friendly and innocent, but law enforcement will be trying to document you as a gang member. Once you are labeled as part of a gang, you will face much more severe penalties any time you are convicted of a crime.
Contact the Visalia gang crime lawyer at the firm if you have been charged with a crime that is gang-related today.
Proven Defense in Thousands of Cases
10.0 Out of 10.0 Superb Avvo Rating
Highly Recommended by Past Clients
Strongly Endorsed by the Legal Community
Free Case Evaluation to Go Over Your Options