California Gang Cases
In the 1980s, California experienced a surge in gang violence. The problem was particularly centralized in Los Angeles County where gang membership was not only a way of life for many, but it was also part of a vicious cycle that was hard to escape. Between the years of 1981 and 2001, there were approximately 10,000 gang homicides in the state of California, approximately 75% of which occurred in Los Angeles County alone. As law enforcement agencies began tracking gang violence, it was reported that in Fiscal Year 2001/2002, California recorded having 180,219 active gang members. Today, more than 1,400 criminal gangs exist in Los Angeles County. In response to the problem, the District Attorney’s Office aggressively prosecutes any type of criminal gang activity, and any type of activity that is associated with a gang. If you have been arrested for a gang crime, contact a criminal defense attorney from the Law Offices of Paul S. Geller right away.
Sentence Enhancements for Gang Related Crime
Under California Penal Code Section 186.22, which is part of the Street Terrorism Enforcement and Prevention Act (STEP), state prosecutors are enabled to seek enhanced penalties and stiffer sentences for gang members. In fact, the Hardcore Gang Division invests a vast amount of resources into hunting down and prosecuting active gang members, and their known associates.
In simple terms, California law punishes gang members and their associates more harshly than people who don’t have any gang ties. The way it works is that anyone who commits a felony for the benefit of a gang will not only receive a mandatory prison sentence, but they will also receive an additional sentence that will run consecutive to the original sentence that he or she received for the original crime. Depending upon the crime that was committed, the person can receive an additional 5, 10, 15 or even 25 years to life in prison, even if they aren’t a gang member or the person who committed the original felony.
Common gang-related crimes include: drug crimes, rape or sexual assault, auto theft, assault, battery, robbery, drive by shooting, kidnapping, and arson, shooting an inhabited dwelling, weapons offenses, attempted murder, breaking and entering and many more.
Gang Crime Lawyer on Your Side
As you can see, being charged with a gang-related crime is not a good position to be in. However, just because you are being charged with a gang crime, it doesn’t have to mean that your charges will stick. Attorney Paul S. Geller is not only a seasoned criminal defense attorney, but he is also a former Deputy District Attorney for Los Angeles County. As a former prosecutor, he knows exactly how to defend even the toughest cases. He has extensive experience handling gang-related crimes whether they deal with juveniles or adults. As your law firm, we will do everything within our power to fight your criminal charges and pursue a favorable case result. We understand how important your future and your family are to you, for this reason we will fight zealously to protect you from the harsh criminal justice system.