Orange County Criminal Defense Lawyer

What California Law Says About Gang Crimes

Make The Right Call 714-733-1737  >
Font import
If you’re facing criminal charges in Orange County complete the form to speak with Attorney Goodman
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

dedicated to criminal defense
for over 20+ years
  • If you need a lawyer,
    she is the one you want.
    “Her knowledge and professionalism are what helped me get through a difficult time.”
    avvo review
  • If you need a lawyer,
    she is the one you want.

    “Her knowledge and professionalism are what helped me get through a difficult time.”
    avvo review
  • If you need a lawyer,
    she is the one you want.

    “Her knowledge and professionalism are what helped me get through a difficult time.”
    avvo review

Organized crime has existed for years, and legislators throughout the nation have passed numerous laws to directly address the threat criminal organizations pose to the public and enable law enforcement agencies and prosecutors to more easily arrest and charge individuals involved in these organizations. The federal government also enforces laws intended to charge and convict gang members.

Aside from federal laws targeting organized crime, the state of California also enforces laws that directly address gang crimes and gang members. If you or someone you love has been charged with a crime in connection to alleged gang involvement, it is of critical importance that you work with a criminal defense attorney capable of defending against the elevated penalties at stake.

At The Law Offices of Jacqueline Goodman, our Orange County criminal defense lawyer is prepared to help you learn more about any charges or enhancements you or your loved one is facing during a free and confidential case evaluation.

Gang Crime Laws in California

California uses the state's "STEP Act," or Street Terrorism Enforcement and Prevention Act when criminal cases involve defendants with ties to street gangs. Under PC 186.22, which is part of the STEP Act, California makes it a crime simply to participate in a gang. The penal code section also enforces a sentencing enhancement for defendants who commit felony crimes in connection to gang activity.

The two parts of PC 186.22 are as follows:

  • PC 186.22(a) - Under California law, it is a crime to be a participant in a street gang and to assist gang members in any felony criminal conduct. Depending on the circumstances involved, you may be charged with a misdemeanor that poses a 1-year jail sentence, or a felony that poses terms of imprisonment in state prison for 16 months, 24 months, or 3 years.
  • PC 186.22(b) - California's gang sentencing enhancement subjects the defendant's to additional mandatory terms of imprisonment for committing a felony that benefits a street gang. This enhancement is in addition to any penalties for the felony crime that was committed. The sentence for the gang enhancement, which can range between 2 to 15 years or up to 25 to life, will run consecutively to the sentence for the underlying felony.

PC 186.22 enforces very tough penalties for gang members and for any individual who acts for the benefit of a gang, even if they are not gang members themselves. These penalties can also be considerably enhanced if a defendant has a criminal history or prior convictions for street terrorism. It is important to remember that PC 186.22 is commonly charged in addition to other felony crimes, which can raise the stakes in a criminal case and subject defendants to even more time behind bars.

Because the gang sentencing enhancement requires proof that a person has gang ties, there is ample opportunity to effectively argue against the enhancement and have it dropped. This can include proving that someone is not an active participant of a gang or did not act for the benefit of a gang, among other defense strategies. Any case involving the gang sentencing enhancement should be treated as seriously as possible.

There are a number of legal elements the prosecution is required to prove, and by working with an experienced lawyer, you can effectively challenge any and all of their arguments. It is the government's responsibility to prove these elements beyond a reasonable doubt and is your right to challenge the government's version of the facts. You can do this by choosing proven legal representation with a reputation for effective defense strategies and for fighting aggressively on behalf of clients.

Attorney Jacqueline Goodman has just this reputation. As an Orange County criminal defense attorney with over 20 years of experience focusing solely on criminal defense, Ms. Goodman understands California's gang crime laws and how to effectively fight for clients charged with serious crimes. If you would like to discuss your case during a free consultation, contact us today.

ARE YOU FACING CRIMINAL CHARGES IN ORANGE COUNTY? YOU NEED JACQUELINE ON YOUR SIDE.

HAVE OUR OFFICE REACH OUT TO YOU

real people. real results.

  • +

    MISDEMEANOR SETTLEMENT

    MISDEMEANOR SETTLEMENT

    2ND DUI

    Misdemeanor on completion of community service - Felony 2nd DUI, under 21 with injury.

    +

    case dismissed

    CASE REJECTED

    ATTEMPTED MURDER OF POLICE OFFICER

    Los Angeles Arrest Pre-filing representation on Attempted murder of police officer, assault with a deadly weapon upon a police officer.

    +

    CASE
    REJECTED

    CASE REJECTED

    ASSAULT WITH A DEADLY WEAPON

    Strike felonies including assault with a deadly weapon - car with great bodily injury.

  • +

    case dismissed

    Case dismissed

    CAR ACCIDENT

    Car accident, no license, speeding (filed by Anaheim City Attorney).

    +

    case dismissed

    Case dismissed

    CHILD ENDANGERMENT / CRUELTY

    Penal Code 273a(b) Child endangerment/cruelty.

    +

    case dismissed

    Case dismissed

    CHILD MOLESTATION

    Child molestation: Felony.

  • +

    PROBATION TERMINATED EARLY

    PROBATION TERMINATED EARLY

    COMMERCIAL BURGLARY

    Commercial burglary probation violation: dismissed, no violation found.

    +

    case dismissed

    Case dismissed

    CONTEMPT OF COURT ORDER

    Contempt of court order by a gang member.

    +

    Case dismissed

    Case dismissed

    CSA CASE

    CSA case dismissed.

Contact Us
Hablo Español »