There’s no way to sugarcoat it. Gangs make average Americans uneasy, perhaps because studies have shown that gangs are one of the leading factors for growth of violent crimes, and that gang members are more likely to be arrested or involved with drugs and alcohol than non-gang members.
More than 80 percent of U.S. cities with a population of at least 100,000 report gang activity, though it’s pervasive in rural areas as well. A recent comprehensive overview of gang activity found that national street gangs are having success recruiting, organizing, and controlling neighborhood-based groups to increase their membership and eliminate competition.
In some communities, however, law enforcement officials have reacted overzealously: profiling people of certain backgrounds, arresting groups who have gathered together without any criminal purpose, overlooking the usual rules of evidence collection, etc. If you have been accused of helping a gang grow by recruiting new members, securing good legal representation early in the process is crucial to your case. Come to the Kentucky defense attorneys at the Carman Law Firm to discuss the charges, review the circumstances of your arrest, and make a plan for defending your rights.
The founder and managing partner of our firm, Dan Carman, has wide-ranging experience from when he served in the United States Marine Corps as defense counsel, prosecutor, legal assistance attorney, and in-house counsel for an infantry battalion. This background gives him a valuable understanding about both sides of the legal process, which can be very beneficial to his clients. He knows how the Kentucky criminal justice system operates and will personally handle your case each step of the way.
Gang recruitment tactics often involve appealing to a person’s sense of communal obligation, being the “cool” thing to do, or using physical and psychological intimidation. Under the criminal gang recruitment statute of KRS 506.140, it is unlawful for a person to solicit or entice another person to join a criminal gang or to intimidate or threaten another person for refusing to join, for withdrawing from, or refusing to submit to a demand made by the gang.
The law very specifically defines a criminal gang as follows: “any alliance, network, or conspiracy, in law or in fact, of five (5) or more persons with an established hierarchy that, through its membership or through the action of any member, engages in a continuing pattern of criminal activity. Criminal gang shall not include fraternal organizations, unions, corporations, associations, or similar entities, unless organized for the primary purpose of engaging in criminal activity.”
Criminal gang recruitment is a Class A misdemeanor for the first offense and a Class D felony for a second or subsequent offense. The penalty that can be imposed for a Class A misdemeanor is up to 365 days in jail and a maximum fine of $500.
Any charge of gang recruitment turns on the unique facts of the case, which is why you need an experienced and effective KY gang activity defense lawyer by your side. One common defense is that the defendant has been improperly labeled as a gang member. Non-gang members may hang around documented gang members because they are related to each other, or they may have non-criminal reasons for socializing, such as having mutual friends. Another valid defense is that the necessary intent to solicit, entice, intimate, or threaten was not present. Defense arguments can also involve elements of mistake, double jeopardy, duress and procedural issues. At a minimum, a skilled lawyer with the right set of facts may be able to get a reduction in your charge to a less serious offense.
We Can Help
An advocate in your corner who will thoroughly review and investigate the factual and legal issues in your case can make all the difference. From Kentucky misdemeanors to federal charges and felonies, the Lexington-based Carman Law Firm has the knowledge and experience necessary to obtain the best possible resolution of your criminal charges. KY gang recruitment defense attorney Dan Carman provides aggressive representation with proven results to clients throughout the state in communities such as Richmond, Winchester, Georgetown and Nicholasville. A native of Lexington and a graduate of the University of Kentucky College of Law, Dan is dedicated to helping those in his community who may find themselves struggling with serious allegations. Not all criminal charges have to end in convictions. Contact him today and tell him your side of the story. Call (859) 838-1415 or fill out this online contact form.