Law enforcement across California has extra tools at their disposal to prosecute gang activity. Not only are there countless prosecutors across the state focused on gang activity, but there is also a special law dealing with gangs.
Since 1988, prosecutors have used the Street Terrorism Enforcement and Prevention Act to punish suspected gang activity in the state. What this law says is that suspected gang members do not even need to commit an underlying crime to be prosecuted. They can be punished the moment that law enforcement is able they are a member of the gang. That is a crime in itself. Membership in a gang alone can lead to a jail sentence of up to three years.
Just in Los Angeles County alone, gang members commit on average over 300 serious crimes each month. This has caused law enforcement to act sometimes to the point of over vigilance. Here in Riverside, there have been two major recent gang busts, including a sweep in early 2020 where police arrested 15 suspected gang members. This followed a mass 2018 arrest of 45 suspected gang members in Riverside County.
Not only have the California authorities criminalized gang membership, but they can also add additional jail time to any sentence if they can prove that the crime was committed as part of gang membership. This is consecutive time that will increase the penalties. If you have been charged with gang membership or any other crime, you need an aggressive criminal defense attorney.
Beyond the potential jail time, convicted gang members are required to register with authorities and are at risk of having any of their assets associated with gang activity seized. Even after the defendant has finished serving their sentence, the consequences of a gang conviction can follow them for a long time.
Gang enforcement is perhaps the best-funded area of law enforcement throughout all of California, and its prosecutors sometimes overzealously pursue what they believe to be gang activity. In some cases, their funding is even tied to the number of arrests and prosecutions.
Gang arrests usually happen in large-scale sweeps. This gives potential defendants numerous ways to defend themselves from the charges. Possible defenses can include:
Just because you have been charged with being part of a gang does not mean that prosecutors have the evidence to prove the alleged crime. However, if you decide not to fight the charges, your attorney can negotiate a plea agreement that could reduce some of the punishment that you would face.
If you have been arrested and are facing gang charges, you need legal representation. Contact DeLimon Law online or call us at (951) 777-9104 to get legal help immediately. Attorney Daniel DeLimon is a former prosecutor who knows how law enforcement works from the inside because he has served on a gang unit, and he will use that knowledge to help your defense.
He has compassion and empathy for all parties as well as one of the sharpest legal minds around. He is a powerhouse in the courtroom; the kind of attorney people stop and listen to. Anyone facing the legal system would be fortunate to have him working for them.
I was facing multiple violent felonies and life in prison. Mr. DeLimon took my case to trial and the jury found me NOT GUILTY OF ALL CHARGES and I was released. I owe him my life.