The Florida statutes define "criminal gang" as "a formal or informal ongoing organization, association, or group that has as one of its primary activities the commission of criminal or delinquent acts, and that consists of three or more persons who have a common name or common identifying signs, colors, or symbols, including, but not limited to, terrorist organizations and hate groups."
When you are charged with a crime, and you have any connection to what the state deems a criminal gang, prosecutors will routinely attempt to add a gang affiliation as an enhancement to the underlying charge.
You are encouraged to contact our Fort Myers criminal lawyer today for strong defense.
Enhanced Penalties for Gang Crimes
Having a gang affiliation can increase the penalties you would normally get for being convicted of a particular crime. In our state, the penalties are heightened by one level of criminal sanction if the gang affiliation enhancement is applied to one's sentence.
For example, a misdemeanor of the second degree can be punishable as a misdemeanor of the first degree, a misdemeanor of the first degree will carry the penalties of a felony of the third degree, and a conviction of a felony of the third degree can be punishable as a felony of the second degree, and so on. This can serve to add months or even years to a possible sentence and increase fines and probation time.
In addition, property and finances can also be taken by the state if it is shown that the property or cash is related to some alleged gang activity. If you are charged with directing the activities of a gang, you could face up to life in prison. At Calvo & Calvo, Attorneys At Law, we know how the state attorney's office will use the gang crime enhancement to increase jail time, and we how to defend our clients against accusations that they committed a crime as a part of a street gang affiliation.
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