Los Angeles Gang Crime Attorneys
More than 450 street gangs with more than 36,000 members are currently operating in Los Angeles, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. Our city has been nicknamed the “Gang Capital of America.” Gang members are involved in crimes, including theft, burglary, vandalism, and violent crimes. In a single year, 1,675 victims were injured in drive-by shootings in the city. As a result, California law is tough on gang crimes. State prosecutors can seek enhanced penalties and longer prison terms for gang members.
If you have been charged with a gang crime in Los Angeles, exercise your right to remain silent and contact Werksman Jackson & Quinn LLP for experienced legal representation. Our Los Angeles criminal defense attorneys can protect your rights and devise the best possible defense strategy. Head attorney Mark Werksman is AV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell, the highest possible rating for ethical standards and legal ability, and recognized by Super Lawyers for outstanding success.
Call (213) 688-0460 to schedule a free case review today.
A gang crime is a criminal offense related to gang activity. California passed the Street Terrorism Enforcement and Prevention (STEP) Act in 1988 to combat gang activity. It is illegal to participate in a street gang or help the criminal conduct of any gang.
A street gang is an organization of three or more people with a common name or identifying marks who engage in criminal activity. Common gang crimes in California include:
- Drug crimes
- Drive-by shootings
- Witness intimidation
- Attempted murder
Under California Penal Code Section 186.22, gang members and their associates, when convicted, are punished more severely than other defendants. The statute states that, in addition to the punishment prescribed for a felony, prison terms can be increased by anywhere from two to 10 years if a defendant is “. . . convicted of a felony committed for the benefit of, at the direction of, or in association with a criminal street gang, with the specific intent to promote, further, or assist in criminal conduct by gang members. . .” For example, a defendant convicted of a violent felony could have their prison term extended by ten years if the crime was gang-related.
Our experienced Los Angeles criminal defense lawyers can challenge gang crime allegations and evidence with all defense strategies that apply to your case. Common defenses against gang crime charges include the following:
- You have no gang affiliation.
- You did not participate in gang activity.
- You were merely a passive member of a gang, in name only.
- Your actions were not intended to help a gang.
- You do not have a history of gang-related criminal activity.
- You did not commit the underlying crime in question.
You cannot receive gang sentencing enhancements if you are not convicted of the underlying felony. Our criminal defense attorneys can work to have your charges reduced to a misdemeanor or dismissed altogether.
Conviction of a felony gang crime can have serious consequences, including up to an additional ten years in prison years added to your sentence. If you are facing gang crime charges, the importance of seeking legal representation cannot be overstated-- your future and freedom are at stake.
If you’re facing gang crime charges in Los Angeles, an experienced criminal defense lawyer can be your greatest ally. Werksman Jackson & Quinn LLP is the most experienced and successful criminal defense firm in California. We are well-versed in handling complex cases involving gang-related charges and know how to come out of any courtroom with a favorable result.
We are committed to protecting our clients’ freedom and developing an iron-strong defense. You can rely on our Los Angeles gang crime attorneys to cultivate the best possible strategy, custom-tailored to meet your needs.
Call us today at (213) 688-0460 to schedule a free, confidential consultation.
Recent Case Results
- Complete Dismissal of Molestation Charges
Attorney Mark Werksman’s 29 year old client was falsely accused of molesting two neighborhood children and was subsequently charged with felony child molestation, with a significant prison sentence hanging over his head should he be convicted. Instead, at the preliminary hearing Werksman was able to convince the court to grant his client a complete dismissal of any charges.
- Decision Set Aside
Client, a college student in a faulty Title IX case, was awarded $130,000 in attorney fees.
- Probation with No Jail Time for Drug Money Laundering Charge
Wilmington man accused in New York federal court of laundering drug money through the sale of laptop computers. Mark was able to get the case transferred to federal court in Los Angeles, where he convinced the United States Attorney to reduce the charges. His client was sentenced to probation with no jail time on a misdemeanor conviction.