Georgia Criminal Defense Blog

Reported Gang Dispute Requires an Analysis of the Law Behind Georgia Criminal Gang Activity

Posted by Richard Lawson | Jul 02, 2018 | 0 Comments

As a Georgia Criminal Defense Lawyer, I am very aware of the plethora of laws in the state of Georgia, and how important it is to know the difference between them. There are many crimes that relate to gang activity, and in Georgia, you don't even have to be a member of a gang and directly commit a crime in order to be accused and convicted of gang activity. Georgia crimes involving other parties are complicated offenses, and in light of last week's news reports, I would like to focus on the broadest of the gang activity laws in today's post.

Last week, seven people were reported to be shot late Friday night/early into Saturday morning at a nightclub in Tift County. Reports state that around 200 people, allegedly involved in different local gangs, were at the club for a “County vs. County” gathering, and that tensions were high. Arguments broke out and eventually escalated around 2:30 am when shots were fired.

As of right now, the Ashburn Police Department has partnered with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation to fully investigate and assess the situation.

Like I mentioned above I will focus today's post on Participation in Criminal Gang Activity in Georgia. Gang activity is defined by Georgia Courts as the commission, attempted commission, conspiracy to commit, or solicitation, coercion, or intimidation of another person to commit any of the following offenses:

A criminal street gang is defined by Georgia Courts as meaning any organization, association, or group of three or more persons associated in fact, whether formal or informal, which engages in the criminal activity described above.

The Law Behind Participation in Criminal Gang Activity in Georgia

The Georgia code defines criminal gang participation in Georgia as:

It is unlawful for:

  1. A person employed or associated with a criminal street gang to conduct or participate in criminal gang activity through the commission of a crime.
  2. Any person to commit an offense with the intent to obtain or earn membership or maintain or increase his or her status or position in a criminal street gang.
  3. Any person to acquire or maintain, directly or indirectly, through criminal gang activity or proceeds derived from any interest in or control of any real or personal property of any nature, including money.
  4. Any person who occupies a position of organizer, a supervisory position, or any other position of management or leadership with regard to a criminal street gang to engage in, directly or directly, or conspire to engage in criminal gang activity.
  5. Any person to cause, encourage, solicit, recruit, or coerce another to become a member or associate of a criminal street gang, to participate in a criminal street gang, or to conduct or participate in criminal gang activity.
  6. Any person to communicate, directly or indirectly, with another any threat of injury or damage to the person or property of the other person or of any associate or relative of the other person with the intent to deter such person from assisting a member or associate of a criminal street gang to withdraw from such criminal street gang.
  7. Any person to communicate, directly or indirectly, with another any threat of injury or damage to the person or property of the other person or of any associate or relative of the other person with the intent to punish or retaliate against such person for refusing to or encouraging another to refuse to become or obtain the status of a member or associate of a criminal street gang.
  8. Any person to communicate, directly or indirectly, with another any threat of injury or damage to the person or property of the other person or of any associate or relative of the other person with the intent to punish or retaliate against such person for refusing to or encouraging another to refuse to become or obtain the status of a member of associate of a criminal street gang.
  9. Any person to communicate, directly or indirectly, with another any threat of injury or damage to the person or property of the other person or of any associate or relative of the other person with the intent to punish or retaliate against such person for providing statements or testimony against criminal street gangs or any criminal street gang member or associate.
  10. Any person to communicate, directly or indirectly, with another any threat of injury or damage to the person or property of the other person or of any associate or relative of the other person with the intent to intimidate, deter, or prevent such person from communicating to any law enforcement or corrections officer, prosecuting attorney, or judge information relating to criminal street gangs, criminal street gang members or associates, or criminal gang activity. O.C.G.A. §16-15-4.

In order for someone to be found guilty and convicted of participation in criminal gang activity in Georgia, the prosecution will have to prove that the accused person is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. If convicted, the offense is classified as a felony in Georgia. The penalty includes a prison sentence ranging from 5 to 20 years.

If you or a loved one have been accused of committing a crime in Georgia, contact a Georgia Criminal Defense Attorney today.

About the Author

Richard Lawson

Richard Lawson has devoted his entire career to DUI Defense. He exclusively handles DUI Cases. As a former DUI Prosecutor he knows both sides of your case. Put his experience to work for you. You only have 30 days to protect your right to drive. Call now for immediate attention. We are available 7 days a week, 24 hours a day.

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