Gang Affiliation Laws
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Gang Affiliation Laws
Although it is not unlawful to participate in a gang, many states have enacted laws targeting gang affiliation to prohibit people from joining. The definition of a gang varies, especially when it comes to youth gangs. In general, a gang is an organization, group, or association of at least three people. The gang has:
- A common name
- Identifying symbol(s)
- Identifying sign(s)
- Members who actively participate in crimes
What Are the Federal Laws against Gang Affiliation?
The federal government currently does no have any particular laws against gang affiliation. However, it does prosecute known gang members under the Racketeer Influence and Corrupt Organization (RICO) statute. Racketeering is defined as operating an unlawful business. This sort of crime is typically associated with the mafia and organized crime.
Criminal penalties for a RICO conviction are about 20 years in prison and/ or a $25,000 fine. Civil penalties for a RICO criminal conviction depends on the individual or business effected. Compensation is three times the damages suffered. Minnie owns a business a gang is accused of robbing. She suffered $3,000 in damages. If found liable, the gang members would owe her $6,000.
Do States Have Gang Affiliation Laws?
Yes. Many state legislatures have enacted laws that are designed to discourage gang affiliation. The laws attempt to stop:
- Gang participation. Some states, such as Georgia and Texas, make it unlawful for anyone to form, associate with, or profit from a street gang.
- Wear gang-related apparel. Many states have laws that prohibit students in elementary and secondary schools from wearing gang-related apparel while on school grounds. This type of law does not include school uniforms, but refers to any type of clothing which indicates gang membership.
- Gang recruitment. Other states make it illegal for anyone to recruit a person to participate in a criminal gang. Florida makes it unlawful for anyone to intentionally cause, solicit, or encourage a person to join a street gang. Kentucky also has laws to stop people from joining criminal gangs.
Should I Meet with an Attorney about Gang Affiliation Laws?
Involvement or accused involvement in any type of organized crime may result years in prison. It It is highly recommended you talk with a criminal attorney to learn more about your defense options.
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Last Modified: 08-22-2016 02:07 PM PDT
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