One of the worst shocks that some people experience in their first encounter with law enforcement is discovering that they are accused of membership in a criminal street gang. Law enforcement ascribes to a theory about the way “criminal street gangs” develop and operate, and their theory allows them to sweep up a number of people under an umbrella of ‘accused gang member’ who have never been involved with gangs or gang crimes.
Depending on the circumstances, simply growing up in a particular neighborhood, wearing the wrong clothing in the wrong part of town, or being childhood friends with the wrong people can result in an accusation that you are a gang member.
Gang Crimes can be charged as ‘Stand Alone’ offense or as Enhancement allegation
You can be charged with a crime of being involved in a criminal street gang. That, however, is less common, though it still occurs. Much more common is that law enforcement makes a special allegation claiming that a crime was committed “in association with” or “for the benefit of” a criminal street gang. That allegation can greatly enhance the seriousness of the underlying charge, turning minor offenses into ‘strikes’, and can greatly increase the potential punishment for the alleged offender.
Any defense attorney handling a gang case needs to be experienced in identifying, dissecting, and disproving common myths underlying the theories about gang involvement relied upon by so-called ‘gang experts.’ Mr. Bouvier-Brown has substantial experience representing individuals accused of gang membership and ensuring that no stone is left unturned in their defense.
Allegations of gang membership can bring a lifetime of ‘Informal’ consequences
The sad truth is that persons accused of being gang members by law enforcement can find themselves leading a life of second-class citizenship in their own communities. Once a label of ‘gangbanger’ is stuck on a person by law enforcement, that individual becomes the target of dramatically increased law enforcement scrutiny.
Special ‘gang units’ within law enforcement make a point of familiarizing themselves with everyone they have decided is an ‘active gang member,’ and when something bad happens in the neighborhood, those people are always first to be given extra scrutiny. Alleged gang associates are generally subjected to a high degree of police ‘contacts,’ which are generally quite unpleasant.
Our office will aggressively defend against any allegations of gang membership
Allegations that you are a gang member or a gang associate can be abused as a shortcut around your basic constitutional rights. Your rights must be defended. Our office will work to aggressively combat any gang-related allegation against you or your loved one. For a free consultation with an experienced gang defense lawyer, call our office today.