Under California law, Any person who actively participates in any criminal street gang with knowledge that its members engage in or have engaged in a pattern of criminal gang activity, and who willfully promotes, furthers, or assists in any felonious criminal conduct by members of that gang, can be charged with a misdemeanor or a felony. However, given the proliferation of gangs in California, most gang crimes are prosecuted as felonies.
Moreover, many crimes can be charged with what is called a “gang enhancement” which greatly increases the punishment for the crime charged, and can be a "strike" under California's "Three Strike" laws. The gang enhancements can be attached to nearly any crime, and the penalties are extremely harsh.
In order to prove a gang crime or enhancement, the prosecutor must show that the crime was perpetrated for the benefit of a gang. It is my experience that prosecutors will add gang enhancements to any case they can, often on extremely thin evidence such as tattoos or the opinion of police officers. By use of experts, gang affiliations and involvement can be disputed. Benjamin Zicherman has the skill and experience to properly defend individuals against gang allegations and enhancements.
If you, a family member or friend has been charged with a gang crime, early representation is the key to a successful defense. At the Law Offices Benjamin Zicherman, I have the experience, resources and sophistication to defend your rights. Contact meimmediately for your free consultation.