The laws relating to proving participation in and benefits to the street gang have recently changed to the benefit of the defendant. However, in cases where defendants are charged with gang charges and/or enhancements the charges/enhancements can often times carry more time than the underlying crime(s).
Penal Code section 186.22 is the primary statute that addresses gang charges and enhancements. Sentences vary dramatically depending on the crime committed, facts and prior convictions. For example, a gang enhancement on home invasion robbery or carjacking may carry a 15 year old enhancement.
Recent charges in the law have made it more difficult for the district for the District Attorney to prove elements of gang charges/enhancements but it is critical that you have an attorney willing to fight to and to research the specific elements of your case. Timely objections at prelim or informal discussions with the District Attorney can impact the length of your sentence. Call our office today for a free 30 minute consult.