California is known for its great beaches and laid back attitude. However, it is also known for being a hotbed of gang activity, with gang crime in Los Angeles making up a large majority of all violent crimes in the city. The various police departments have taken steps to pinpoint and arrest leading gang members, although other gang members often are arrested in the process for crimes they did not commit. Many gang members simply need rehabilitation and a change of scenery to understand the gravity of their situation. If you have been arrested on charges of a gang crime, contact an experienced San Jose Gang Crimes Lawyer today to determine your best defense and potential crime mitigation.
Gangs in California have grown exponentially since the 1980s when gangs began to focus on territory and criminal offenses. The street drugs of the time only contributed to the rise in the number of gangs and in the amount of gang violence. The 1980s spurred the number of gangs in the South Central Los Angeles area, with each block controlled by a different gang. This rise in gang activity continued throughout the 1990s, which saw the highest numbers of gun deaths in California. However, the increased focus on gang crimes by the state after 2000 has resulted in the lowest number of gang violence deaths and an increased number of gang members facing prison sentences.
Gang Crimes in California
In an effort to curb the incidence of gang violence, California has made it a crime to participate in a street gang and assist in any felony criminal conduct through the gang including assault, firearms crimes, and drug sales. Such participation in the commission of a felony can result in up to three years imprisonment.
Additionally, a punishment range for a felony will be enhanced if it is proven that the defendant committed the offense for the benefit of a gang. This enhancement will include a mandatory prison sentence, which could mean an additional two years in prison, or up to life in prison. Due to the drastic nature of these sentences, it's imperative for a person facing gang related charges to hire a skilled gang crimes attorney.
While California implemented gang crime enhancement in the effort to decrease the number of gang crimes, many individuals have received heightened punishments after being charged with a gang crime they did not commit. It is a defense to gang crime charges that you were not actively in a gang, you were not acting for the benefit of the gang, and you did not commit the felony offense. An experienced California criminal defense attorney will assist you in determining the best defense for your case.
Ahmed and Sukaram Law | San Jose Gang Crimes Lawyer
If you have been charged with a gang crime and are currently facing heightened penalties, do not hesitate in contacting the attorneys of Ahmed and Sukaram. Our attorneys have years of experience in handling felony and misdemeanor cases which have been heightened on suspicion of gang activity during the offense. However, prosecutors sometimes stretch the definition of a “gang” too far in attempting to make a connection between the felony and gang activity. Contact our San Jose office today for your initial free consultation.