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What Constitutes Gang-Related Crime?

Where Guns, Drugs & Violence Meet

About 33,000 violent street, motorcycle and prison gangs currently exist in the US, according to the FBI. Popular gang crimes involve robbery, drug and gun trafficking, prostitution and human trafficking, and fraud. As a result, the government is very strict on identifying and prosecuting gang crimes to mitigate these offenses and deter future gang crime.

What’s interesting is that there is no mutually agreed-upon definition for “gang crime” in the US. The US Department of Justice, however, defines gangs as:

  • an association of three or more individuals whose members establish a group identity which they use to instigate fear or intimidation by using one or more of the following:
    • a common name, slogan, identifying sign, symbol, tattoo or other physical markings, style or color of clothing, hairstyle, hand sign or graffiti
  • the association's purpose, in part, is to engage in criminal activity and uses violence or intimidation to further its goals
  • its members engage in criminal activity or acts of juvenile delinquency that, if committed by an adult, would be considered crimes
  • it intends to enhance or preserve the association's power, reputation or economic resources
  • the association may also have the following characteristics:
    • the members employ rules for joining and operating within the association
    • the members meet regularly
    • the association provides physical protection of its members from other criminals and gangs
    • the association seeks to exercise control over a particular location or region, or it may defend its interests against rivals
    • the association has an identifiable structure

Types of Gang Crimes

Gang members are capable of committing various crimes. The most common gang crimes include:

  • Property crimes
  • Violent crimes
  • Drug crimes

According to the National Gang Center, factors influencing gang crimes include:

  • Drug-related factors
  • Intergang conflict
  • Return from prison
  • Gang member migration (within or from outside of the US)

Since the government is on high alert for recognizing and punishing gang crimes, you must be cautious. An officer can misidentify you as a gang member upon your arrest, especially if your alleged offense falls under gang-related crimes. Thus, you must not engage with an interrogating office without our experienced criminal defense lawyer by your side.

Protect yourself from self-incrimination and contact us at (414) 882-8382 now. The last thing you need is to be falsely accused of a gang-related crime and endure police questioning without skilled legal representation. The Law Offices of Christopher J. Cherella can help you get through your darkest times, so please don’t hesitate to arrange your free consultation today.