Protect Your Rights. Trust the Law Office of Hayden G. Smith.
The Law Office of Hayden G. Smith is a criminal defense law firm representing clients charged with misdemeanors and felonies, including a variety of gang-related crimes. A conviction may receive a sentence enhancement, which increases the length of a prison sentence, if convicted. This area of law requires specific knowledge of sections of the California Penal Code related to criminal street gang activity. Hayden Smith is an experienced Visalia criminal defense with extensive knowledge and a commitment to protecting the rights of his clients.
Criminal Gang Activity in California
According to California Penal Code section 186.22(a), an “active participant” in a gang can be subject to felony sentence enhancement. Section 186.22(b) allows for sentence enhancement for an individual committing a crime to benefit a gang. The length of a sentence enhancement varies, depending on the underlying offense, ranging from two to four years for generic felonies to a ten year additional term for violent felonies.
- Evidence that can be used to prove active participation in a gang can include any of the following, and more:
- Defendant participated in a gang
- The defendant knew gang members engage in criminal street gang activity
- Pattern criminal gang activity includes kidnapping, rape, burglary, arson, or theft
- Defendant assisted felony criminal conduct directly or through aiding and abetting
- Crime was committed in association with a criminal gang
- The defendant intended to promote or assist criminal conduct
Possible Defenses for Gang Enhancement Charges
Visalia criminal defense attorney Hayden Smith has represented clients charged with felony offenses and gang enhancements for a decade. Several potential defenses may be mounted, depending on the specifics of the situation. These may include asserting that the defendant did not commit the felony, is not an active participant or acting on the behalf of a criminal street gang, or that the enhanced sentence is not in the interest of justice.
Call the Law Office of Hayden G. Smith Today
If you or a loved one is accused of gang crimes, contact the Law Office of Hayden G. Smith today (559) 664-6933 for a free telephone consultation with our Visalia criminal defense lawyer.