Dublin Gang Crimes Lawyer
While lawful association is protected action, any crimes related to gang activity are not. The California legislature has affirmed that while people may exercise their freedom to affiliate with a gang, they may still not commit crimes, violent or otherwise, on behalf of the gang. If you have been accused of gang association or a related crime, or are concerned about facing an accusation related to gang crimes, it may be beneficial to enlist the services of a Dublin gang crimes lawyer.
An aggressive criminal defense attorney could help you defend your reputation and freedom by working to build the strongest defense possible. The state of California views gang violence as a pressing issue and treats any accusations of gang association as a serious matter, with severe penalties and lengthy sentences for those convicted. By helping collect evidence and building a strong defense against accusations of wrongdoing, a meticulous attorney can help fight the charges from the beginning.
How Gang Crimes are Charged in Dublin
Dublin has made it a crime to participate in a street gang, this even includes knowing about or promoting gang activity, under CA Penal Code Sec. 186.22(a). Simply participating in a gang by knowing about the crimes they commit and not doing anything about it could result in a jail sentence of up to three years.
However, if someone commits a felony in association with a gang, charges could greatly increase. Depending on the felony, a person could face enhanced sentencing on top of the felony punishment for their involvement in a gang. These additional punishments are based on the level of the alleged felony.
Found in CA Penal Code Sec. 186.22(e), violent felonies related to a gang could add up to ten years to a sentence, while other felonies may add up to five years. Any other felonies could add between two and four extra years. Applying these additional sentences is at the discretion of the court.
What is Considered a Pattern of Activity?
Dublin has also made it illegal to engage in any activities that could constitute a pattern of gang activity, found in CA Penal Code 186.22(e). This includes carrying out or planning to carry out various illegal actions within three years of a previous offense. These crimes are generally committed at different times and by two or more people.
In order to convict a person of a gang crime, the prosecutor must prove each element of the crime occurred as they claim. Dublin gang crimes lawyers could help demonstrate that someone had not participated in a gang, the actions committed were not meant to benefit the gang, or that a sentence enhancement is being applied improperly. In many cases, a well-studied gang crimes attorney will lean on similar court proceedings where the court chose not to enhance a sentence or convict an accused person.
Let a Dublin Gang Crime Attorney Be an Advocate
Since gangs are viewed as a burden by California law, gang association accusations could damage a person’s reputation. If you face accusations of being involved with a gang, it is vital to mount the strongest defense possible to protect your rights and liberty.
Fortunately, a knowledgeable attorney familiar with the local laws and court procedures may be able to help you. If you find yourself facing charges, reach out to a Dublin gang crimes lawyer for a free consultation today to explain your situation and learn how an attorney could help protect you.