California law punishes gang members…and those who associate with gang members…much more harshly than people who have no gang ties. Penal Code 186.22 PC is part of the California Street Terrorism Enforcement and Prevention Act, more commonly referred to as California’s street gang enhancement law. Simply put, the law states, that anyone who is convicted of a felony committed for the benefit of, at the direction of, or in association with any criminal street gang with the intent to promote, further or assist in any criminal conduct by gang members shall, upon conviction, be sentenced as follows:
By an additional two, three or four years at the discretion of the Judge.
- If the felony is a serious felony, by an additional 5 years.
- If the felony is a violent felony, by an additional 10 years.
Serious and violent felonies include, but are not limited to:
Murder; manslaughter; certain sex crimes; use of a firearm; robbery; bank robbery; victim or witness intimidation; certain narcotics offenses and certain crimes against school officials, peace officers and correctional officers. If the crime is committed on the grounds of, or within 1,000 feet of a public or private elementary school, vocational school, junior high school or high school during hours in which the facility is open for classes or school- related programs or when minors are using the facility, upon conviction, by an increased sentence at the discretion of the Judge. that anyone who commits a felony for the benefit, of a gang will receive a mandatory prison sentence in addition and consecutive to the penalty he/she receives for the underlying felony.
Depending on the circumstances of the offense…this could mean an additional 5, 10, 15, or even 25-years-to-life in prison…even if you’re not a gang member and even if you aren’t the individual who is actively and directly responsible for committing the underlying felony California law punishes gang members…and those who associate with gang members…much more harshly than people who have no gang ties.