Gang activity has drawn growing attention from law enforcement officials throughout New Jersey resulting in an ever increasing effort at prevention. One of the methods utilized by law enforcement has been to increase the level of any crime charged. Now gang related offenses are charged as one degree over the most serious underlying offense within the category charged. The obvious exception to the one degree increase is with first-degree crimes. With such severe consequences facing you when charged for gang activity you need the lawyers of The Darling Law Firm to fight back against the state.
In New Jersey, a gang is defined as a group of three or more people associated by two or more common criteria including:
- Gang tattoos
- Wearing gang symbols or “colors”
- Stating you are a member of a gang
- Appearing in photographs with gang members
- Witness testimony indicating you are a member of a gang
- Possessing gang paraphernalia
- Text messages, email, handwritten documents and the like
Juveniles are particularly likely to face misapplication of prosecution for gang related crimes. Childhood friends may become affiliated with gangs while remaining acquainted with their non-participating friends and subjecting the non-participating friends to prosecution as gang affiliates. Simply being in a friend’s post on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or other social media you may find yourself in an investigation of gang related activity and possibly facing charges. Juveniles and others affiliated with gang members may find themselves defending against felony charges with enhanced penalties and the additional charge of gang-criminality.
Motorcycle enthusiasts are also targeted by law enforcement as being involved with criminal activity. The stigma of biker gang activity pervades society and simply wearing your “colors” can lead to stops without probable cause, custodial searches for officer safety which may turn up a small amount of a controlled dangerous substance (CDS) for personal use and ultimately charges of gang activity.
Whether you are an adult or juvenile, you may be certain that the prosecution will be swift and harsh in its efforts to make an example of you in law enforcement’s increased efforts at halting gang activity. The prosecution will devote substantial resources to locating evidence and witnesses to prove your affiliation with the gang and your involvement in the underlying offense. While the state is working hard to build a case against you, you need The Darling Law Firm to build your defense against the charges.
The state also has the option of imposing the charge of “gang-criminality” to be served concurrently to the sentence imposed for the underlying offense. A person is guilty of gang-criminality if they are knowingly involved in, or acting for the benefit of, a criminal street gang and commit or attempt or conspire to commit, as a principle or accomplice, criminal homicide, burglary or other criminal intrusion, weapons offenses, sexual assault, rape, prostitution, theft, assault, extortion, riot, manufacture, possession or distribution of a controlled dangerous substance (CDS), gambling offenses or disorderly conduct.
At The Darling Law Firm we have extensive experience in fighting for our clients against criminal charges. We are able to effectively employ defenses, suppression motions and other tactics to defend you against the prosecution’s case. Before you are even charged, the prosecution is working hard to build their case against you. You need a serious criminal defense firm that will aggressively represent you against the charges. If we accept your case, from the moment we begin our sole focus is to obtain a dismissal of the charges against you. The defense attorneys at The Darling Law Firm obtain the facts from you, speak with any witnesses you offer and determine whether you have an alibi you should present to a jury. We also obtain all police reports and the testimony of witnesses the state intends to employ against you. Warrantless searches, anonymous tips, illegal lineups, showups and witness identification procedures and other similar circumstances are often the source of the state’s evidence and are all opportunities for us to seek a dismissal of the charges. If all suppression motions are exhausted and dismissal is impossible, we work to minimize the charges and penalties by showing you are not affiliated with any gang.
We understand the need for an aggressive defense against gang activity or racketeering charges. We know that if you are convicted the stakes are much higher than for similar charges without gang affiliation claims. We will aggressively defend you and ensure your rights are upheld. If you have been charged with gang activity or racketeering, call The Darling Law Firm now at 973-584-6200 or use the contact form below to begin working with tough attorneys who have the experience you need to protect you.