In California, gangs are known to play a prominent role in many crimes. As a result, state lawmakers have implemented legislation that cracks down on anyone who is suspected of a gang-related crime, resulting in enhanced penalties in the event of a conviction.
Unfortunately, some individuals who are arrested are wrongly accused of being involved in band activities. For these cases, you need an experienced defense lawyer who can aggressively defend you in court, while simultaneously working to provide expert testimony and evidence that effectively disputes your involvement in a gang and any related gang crimes. The experienced legal team at Fakhimi & Associates has many years of experience in the courtroom, defending individuals who are accused of a broad range of serious crimes. Our clientele includes individuals who are wrongly accused of band affiliations or involvement in a crime that benefits a band. Gang sentencing enhancement laws can result in very serious penalties and mandatory sentences if convicted. So you need an experienced team of California defense attorneys who can represent you and protect your interests. We invite you to contact us today to arrange a free and confidential consultation to discuss your case. Call (714) 705-6701.Our California Criminal Defense Attorneys Take a Look at Gang Crimes and Enhancement Laws
At Fakhimi & Associates, our attorneys represent clients who are facing a variety of different charges, from kidnapping and carjacking to theft-related crimes, drug-related crimes, sexual assault, battery, assault with a deadly weapon or even murder. Many of these crimes can be linked to criminal gangs, and if the prosecution believes this to be the case, you could face serious penalties if convicted. The Fakhimi & Associates legal team has compiled information on a few of the most common questions that we receive from clients who are facing allegations of band involvement.How Does the Prosecutor Decide Who Gets Accused of Gang Involvement?
The prosecutor typically relies upon evidence and information that’s provided by the police investigators and detectives. Every police department maintains information on the local band members (actual and suspected), while also monitoring the gang activity that occurs within their community. In cases where the investigators suspect gang involvement in a crime, the prosecutor will be notified, and he or she will proceed accordingly. Suspects in certain types of crimes are more likely to be accused of having gang links.Why are Gang Crime Allegations so Serious?
If you are accused of involvement with a gang-related crime, the potential penalties are much greater due to mandatory sentences that arise from California’s band sentencing enhancement laws. With this legislation, the potential penalty for a person convicted of a gang crime is amplified significantly.What are CA Gang Sentencing Enhancement Laws?
California gang sentencing enhancement laws fall under Penal Code 186.22 PC, which is part of the California Street Terrorism Enforcement and Prevention Act, also known as the CA STEP Act. There are two basic components to this law. One component makes it a crime to participate in street band activities, including those that involve felony crimes. Gang activities can result in sentences of one year in county jail or 16 months, two years or three years in state prison. The other component of this law involves the band sentencing enhancement. This enhancement results in a mandatory prison sentence for any individual who is convicted of committing a crime that benefits a gang. This mandatory sentence must typically be served consecutive to and in addition to any penalties that are handed down for the actual criminal act.What are the Mandatory Sentences Under the California STEP Act?
Under the current California band sentencing enhancement laws, mandatory sentences can be as long as two to fifteen years in prison or even 25 years to life in prison. Each case is unique, so the exact penalties that an individual may face will vary depending upon your precise circumstances.Do You Have to be a Gang Member to be Affected by the CA Gang Sentencing Enhancement Laws?
While current and former gang members are at the highest risk of seeing a mandatory sentence from band sentencing enhancement laws, other individuals may also be impacted. The law states that anyone who commits a crime that directly benefits a gang may be subject to these sentencing enhancements. Therefore, a friend or family member of a band member (or a perceived/suspected band member) may be subject to these harsher penalties. Gang sentencing enhancements can also impact the non-major players in a crime. Former gang members tend to face problems in this area more often than the general population. The same may be true of current band members who commit a crime that is unrelated to their band affiliations. For these cases, it’s especially important to have a defense attorney who is experienced in band crimes and the workings of California’s STEP Act.How can a California Criminal Defense Lawyer Disprove Allegations of Gang Affiliation?
The experienced criminal defense attorneys with Fakhimi & Associates work with some of the region’s top experts on gangs and band crimes. These experts include former band unit detectives, amongst others. Gang crimes experts are well-positioned to identify information or evidence that serves to disprove claims of gang affiliation. In some instances, a defense attorney may also need to present evidence that the crime was not committed to benefit a band. Our legal team will consult with these experts to discuss your case. This partnership provides our defense lawyers with the insight required to develop a winning strategy for countering allegations of band affiliation and protecting you from a band sentencing enhancement. If necessary, our gang crime experts are also available to offer testimony in court.Turn to CA Defense Lawyers With Experience in Gang Crime Cases
If you have been accused of involvement in a gang-related crime, it’s vital that you contact an experienced lawyer who can effectively defend you in your case by offering evidence that’s contraindicative of band affiliations or gang involvement. At Fakhimi & Associates, our goal as criminal defense attorneys is to maximize your chances of seeing a positive resolution to your case. We will provide you with the strategic, aggressive defense that you need to prevail in the courtroom. If you or a loved one is facing allegations of involvement in a gang crime, attorneys with Fakhimi & Associates are available to assist. Our legal team can provide a confidential, no-cost case consultation. Just call (714) 705-6701.