In an effort to reduce criminal activity by gangs, Nevada state law comes down hard on cases that prosecutors suspect are gang-related. It does this by allowing the judge to impose an additional penalty to the original crime’s sentence, usually in the form of more prison time. Fighting organized crime is a noble goal, but unfortunately many people get caught in the middle of a situation and face charges of gang crime when they aren’t even a member of a gang. Another problem is prejudice – if the police think or know that you are in a gang, they might be more likely to suspect you of committing a crime even if you did not.
How Gang Penalties Work
The Nevada penalty system for gang activity is complex, but at Weiner Law Group, we criminal defense lawyers that have many years of experience with the law on our side. In short, a prosecutor will not charge you with membership in a gang as a separate crime. Instead, he adds the charge to whatever your original charge is, hoping to add to your sentence. If the judge finds you guilty of the original charge, and is also convinced that you were acting in connection with a gang, he can double the length of the original prison sentence (up to twenty years). If you know that your charge carries an accusation of gang activity, it is more important than ever that you have a capable defense attorney fighting for you.
Opposing the Charge
The easiest way to avoid serving time under a gang penalty is to beat your original charge. If your lawyer shows that there is not enough evidence to convict you of the original crime, or shows that the police treated you unlawfully at your arrest, the judge should dismiss the case altogether and the gang penalty will no longer be an issue. If there is a conviction, your attorney will work to show that you either weren’t acting in connection with a gang or that you did not intend to do so. Either of those conclusions would remove any extra penalties.
Hire a Lawyer Right Away
If a prosecutor has accused you of committing a crime on behalf of a gang, you are in serious trouble. Don’t seal your own fate by trying to handle your defense alone or by hiring an inexperienced but inexpensive lawyer. We will give you a free consultation and use our years of experience to keep you out of prison.
Call 702-202-0500 or fill out our contact form for more information on opposing gang crime charges.