Fighting Gang-Related Crimes in California
In California, law enforcement agencies work together to maintain a gang-related database shared across the state. This means that once you have been associated with a gang-related crime, even if you did not commit the crime, your name potentially goes into this database. Inclusion in this list can have devastating effects on finding a job or housing.
Gang Association Database
People can be added to this database because of tattoos that may indicate association with a gang, hanging out with other known gang members, and of course, admission of one's association with a gang. The first thing a reputable criminal defense attorney will tell you is not to speak to the police or offer any unnecessary information if arrested and charged with gang-related crimes. Every American has the constitutional right not to self-incriminate, which means it is best not to say anything to authorities or anyone else because anything you say can be used against you in court. It might surprise how many people try to talk their way out of an arrest or talk freely to the police or someone else on the scene after an arrest. It is absolutely a protected right by the United States government not to do so! All one must say is, I will wait to speak to my attorney. It is critical to seek legal representation when facing an arrest and not try talking your way out of an arrest or explaining details without an attorney present.
Suppose you are pulled over for a routine traffic violation, and your name or the car owner's name shows up in the shared database. In that case, the police then have more reason to search your car and pull you over on the street when they see you again. It used to be law enforcement just added names to this database, but now it is legally required to notify someone if there have been added.
Gang Crime Enhancement in California
California has strict gang crime laws, and Penal Code 186.22b is an enhancement to any gang-related charges. The enhancement statement of the law states that if anyone is found guilty of gang-related misdemeanors, they will face felony sentencing. The code also says if the gang-related charge is a felony, it will be a strike to the record and additional prison time. In serious crimes, such as murder and drive-by-shootings, ten years of prison time may be added to the sentencing due to the enhancement code. Due to California's gang enhancement policy, without excellent criminal defense help, the charges, if convicted, can change a life forever. An attorney can help fight for reduced sentencing and dismissed charges in some circumstances. It is essential to reach out to a professional lawyer as soon as possible and share the details of your specific case. Many things come into play, including how law enforcement handled the arrest. Someone fighting on your side will do everything they can to help minimize the adverse effects on your life. Gang-related crimes, when convicted, include significant fines and jail time, which can equal loss of housing, employment, immigration status, and the right to bear arms.
Accomplices to Gang-Related Crimes
Suppose there is a situation where you or someone you know is facing arrest and charges related to a gang crime. In that case, it is vital to have the absolute best legal representation available. It often happens that someone was an accomplice to a gang crime without knowing it, and this is essential to share with an attorney so they can fight the charges against you. Suppose you were arrested because of suspicion of joining a gang, helping someone else join a gang, or aiding in a gang-related crime. In that case, you might face gang crime enhancement, making conviction penalties more severe. As you seek legal counsel, look for experience, reputation, and successful wins for clients as top priorities. Find a local criminal defense attorney who offers a thorough free phone consultation and agrees to help you with the next critical steps in your case. Avoid missing paperwork deadlines or court appearances and have someone knowledgeable in defending criminal charges by your side, so you have one less thing to worry about as you navigate this difficult time for you and your loved ones.
Whether you have been arrested related to a gang crime in California or have been added to the shared gang member database unjustly, an experienced criminal defense attorney can help fight the charges and request your name be removed from the database. Attorney Joni Eisenstein offers more than 25 years of fighting gang-related charges for her satisfied clients in San Diego County. Find an attorney with local knowledge of the court processes and the judge's decision history on gang-related crimes wherever you live. There are many ways an exceptional attorney can help, so please do not leave it to chance and get the best possible outcome for your case.
If you are on the fence about hiring a defense attorney, stop thinking about it, and do it now
Hiring a criminal defense attorney like Joni Eisenstein can help you go from a place of uncertainty to freedom.