As you and many other California residents know, convictions for crimes can come with serious consequences. Depending on the specific circumstances of that alleged criminal activity, the charges and sentencing could vary in severity. Certain factors could potentially lead to your facing enhanced charges, and you may wonder whether the situation warranted those enhancements.
Particularly, if authorities suspect that you have gang connections, allegations brought against you could become more serious. Of course, you may have no affiliation with a gang or gang members, and the enhanced charges may seem out of place. However, it is up to the prosecution to prove your supposed gang ties, and if they cannot, you may have the ability to avoid conviction for such accusations.
Definition of a gang
Though many people may immediately become fearful or wary when they hear about gang activity, they may not entirely know what constitutes a gang. In fact, the definition of a gang differs in most areas and on the federal and state levels of the criminal justice system. Most states do tend to adhere to a definition that was coined by California legislature.
The definition of a gang in this context states that any group, organization or association that consists of three or more individuals who utilize criminal acts as one of their main activities, use a collective name or symbol and participate in a pattern of criminal gang activity falls into the category of a gang.
In some areas in which gang activity is particularly prevalent, authorities may attempt to have a court order known as a gang injunction passed. This type of injunction could prevent individuals in that area from participating in certain activities, wearing certain colors or simply being in certain areas at designated times. Though the honorable intention of such an order may be to keep locations safer, the possibility also exists that authorities could need less reason to stop you if they feel you are participating in suspicious activity.
Facing gang accusations
If you have had gang-related charges brought against you, you may feel that the allegations are unjust. Luckily, you do not have to accept these charges and subsequent consequences. As mentioned, the prosecution involved in your case must prove that you have legitimate gang ties, and by creating and presenting a criminal defense, you may have a better chance of discrediting their alleged evidence.