December 16, 2008 By Wallin & Klarich

I am being charged with a crime with gang enhancements; what does that mean?

Gang affiliation is an enhancement that prosecutors can add to a criminal charge. It is important to remember that most times a criminal charge becomes far more serious when made against an alleged gang member. Penalties and jail time are greater just because the crime is considered to have been “gang-related”. If gang affiliation can be proven, the crime becomes a gang crime and the potential penalties may drastically increase. (Examples of gang affiliation enhancement and their punishment; adding the gang affiliation enhancement to the crime of assault with a deadly weapon adds 10 years to the potential sentence. Adding the gang affiliation to the crime of simple assault could add up to four years to the potential sentence.)

If you or a loved one has been accused of a crime, and there is a possibility the prosecution will be adding gang enhancements, you should speak to a lawyer who knows the law, and who will serve your needs. It is important to have an attorney who is not only comfortable defending gang members but also understands the pressures of society and different reasons that cause a person to join a gang. There are many reasons why people become gang members. Some of the reasons have to do with cultural background, protection, and survival. A person charged with being a gang member needs an Orange County felony defense attorney who understands these dynamics. Call Wallin & Klarich to speak to just the kind of lawyer you need, at 888-749-0034, or contact us via our website at

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