At O’Brien & Eggleston PLLC, our Albany criminal defense attorneys know that in New York, gang-related activities such as assault, robbery, extortion, and drug, human, and gun trafficking carry significant penalties, as they would for any other person who was convicted of the offense.

However, our Albany County criminal defense lawyers also know gang-related charges often enhance criminal penalties in New York. Involvement in gang activities can lead to more severe punishments for various offenses due to the state’s commitment to combating gang violence and organized crime.

Gang-Related Charges in Criminal Case

What Qualifies as “Gang Affiliation” in New York?

For an organization or association to be considered as gang affiliation, the following elements are often present:

  • The association, group, or organization must have at least three individuals.
  • A common name must be used to identify the group and its members.
  • There must be an identifying symbol and sign.
  • Members who actively participate or entice other individuals into criminal activity.

How Are Gang-Related Criminal Charges Enhanced in New York?

Gang-related criminal charges are enhanced in New York through several legal mechanisms that increase the severity of penalties for crimes committed as part of gang activity. These enhancements are designed to deter gang involvement and impose stricter consequences for gang-related crimes.

How charges are enhanced include:

  • Aggravating Factors: Crimes committed with the involvement of gang activity can be classified as aggravating factors, which lead to higher sentencing ranges and harsher penalties. Judges consider the gang affiliation as an aggravating factor during sentencing.
  • Gang-Related Statutes: New York has specific statutes that address gang-related activities, such as the Enterprise Corruption law, similar to the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act. This law targets individuals involved in organized criminal enterprises, including gangs, and allows for enhanced penalties.
  • Conspiracy Charges: Participation in gang-related conspiracies to commit crimes can result in additional conspiracy charges, leading to longer sentences and more severe punishments.
  • Firearms and Weapons Charges: Gang-related offenses involving firearms or other weapons often result in enhanced penalties, including mandatory minimum sentences for possession, use, or trafficking of illegal weapons.
  • Mandatory Minimum Sentences: Certain gang-related offenses carry mandatory minimum sentences, which require convicted individuals to serve a minimum amount of time in prison without the possibility of parole.
  • Multiple Counts: Gang members may face various counts of charges for involvement in a series of related criminal activities, leading to cumulative sentencing that significantly increases the total time served.
  • Federal Prosecution: Some gang-related crimes may be prosecuted at the federal level, where penalties can be more severe than state-level charges. Federal authorities often collaborate with state law enforcement to target and dismantle gang operations.

These enhancements reflect the state’s commitment to addressing and reducing gang-related crime by imposing stringent legal consequences on those involved in gang activities.

Contact Our Criminal Defense Attorney Today

If you have been charged with a gang-related crime in New York, contact our Albany criminal defense attorneys at O’Brien & Eggleston PLLC today by calling (518)-391-2369 or online to ensure your rights are protected from the start, including as early as police questioning. We have a strong track record of producing real results for our clients. Allow us to pursue a positive outcome for your case, too.

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