Georgia has implemented the Georgia Street Gang Terrorism and Prevention Act. The lawmakers of our state decided that gangs had become a problem and decided to try and eliminate them. They have expressed that they want to do this by prosecuting alleged gang members, imposing extremely lengthy sentences, and taking alleged gang member’s property.
As a dedicated criminal defense attorney can explain, when dealing with gang charges, there are certain terms state lawmakers have decided to use. To fully understand what is going, and what you may be charged with, it is important to understand what some of the key terms and phrases mean to law enforcement and prosecutors alike. A Newnan gang charges lawyer could also answer any questions you have in a private consultation.
“Criminal street gang” means any organization, association, or group of three or more persons associated in fact, whether formal or informal, which engages in criminal gang activity. The existence of such organization, association, or group of individuals associated in fact may be established by evidence of a common name or common identifying signs, symbols, tattoos, graffiti, or attire or other distinguishing characteristics, including, but not limited to, common activities, customs, or behaviors. Such term shall not include three or more persons, associated in fact, whether formal or informal, who are not engaged in criminal gang activity.
Social media can be one of the prosecutors’ best weapons in prosecuting gang charges. Their use of social media evidence does several things and poses several obstacles that the defense must be ready to overcome.
These days many police departments and sheriff’s offices have dedicated “gang units.” These officers dedicate their time to investigating what they believe is gang activity. They oftentimes maintain files on suspected gang members that include videos, pictures, and posts.
Eventually, they may obtain search warrants directed to Facebook, Instagram, or others. These warrants may provide them with logs of activity on social media platforms and even private messages. Fortunately, these warrants can also yield thousands of pages of information related to the gang charges for the Newnan defense to go through.
The minimum sentence can vary depending on the violation of the gang law Newnan prosecutors say you violated, but these can potentially be minimized with the help of a lawyer. The maximum, however, is twenty years in prison. Additionally, if you are convicted of violating the gang laws, then you will be prohibited from having any contact with any gang member or gang associate. If the crime you are convicted of involves a victim, then you would also be prohibited from having any contact with that victim or their family.
The consequences of a violation of the gang statute can be years of incarceration followed by a near lifetime on probation under the watchful eye of probation officers and prosecutors. Be careful and make sure you are fully prepared to fight against these charges with a Newnan gang charges lawyer. Contact us today and Don’t Fight Alone.
J. Ryan Brown Law, LLC