Accused of a Gang Crime in Colorado? Don’t Wait
If you’ve been accused of a crime, you may think that the only thing you need to worry about is whether you’re being charged with a misdemeanor or a felony, and how long the sentence is.
But Colorado makes many distinctions that affect how you are charged, so that two people suspected of the same crime may be prosecuted in very different ways.
For example, Colorado law enforcement has targeted gang crime as a priority. If you’re accused of being a member of a gang, your alleged crime will be aggressively prosecuted—meaning you are in danger of much longer and more severe sentencing. That’s why it’s of critical importance that you secure the services of an experienced Colorado Spring gang crime attorney who will just as aggressively defend you against these charges. Your future could depend on it.
How Does Colorado Investigate and Prosecute Gangs?
Colorado has a number of units dedicated to investigating gang violence. For example, the Denver Police Gang Bureau is charged with probing gang-related and gang-motivated crimes in and around the city of Denver. They work with local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies in a number of areas—identifying and tracking juvenile and adult gangs and crimes associated with them. Moreover, they look into all gang-motivated incidents, process crime scenes, and even help identify gang-related graffiti.
Of course, gang activity is not limited to Denver. In Colorado Springs, law enforcement has documented nearly 100 different gangs and 1,300 gang members. They include some of the same gangs that are found in larger cities such as Los Angeles, and include the Bloods, the Crips, the Sureños, and the Norteños.
If you are associated with a gang, you can bet that local or state police officers will have an increased interest in your activities. They are especially concerned about weapons, narcotics trafficking, and other pursuits that may be associated with violence. Even a seemingly innocuous crime, such as vandalism, will be taken very seriously if they see a link between gang activity and graffiti.
Does Colorado Have a Specific Law Concerning Gangs?
According to Colorado Revised Statute 18-23-101, a criminal gang is “Any ongoing organization, association, or group of three or more persons, whether formal or informal,” that has as “one of its primary objectives or activities the commission of one or more predicate criminal acts; and whose members individually or collectively engage in or have engaged in a pattern of criminal gang activity.” The “pattern of criminal gang activity” is defined as the “commission, attempt, conspiracy, or solicitation of two or more predicate criminal acts which are committed on separate occasions or by two or more persons.”
Authorities generally look for certain crimes when investigating gangs. They include the following:
- Drug trafficking: Selling illegal narcotics is one of the most common crimes associated with gangs. The drugs in question include black-market cannabis, methamphetamine, cocaine, and heroin.
- Robbery: The robbery of businesses, private homes, or individuals.
- Theft: As opposed to robbery, theft refers to taking someone else’s property that does not involve any person-to-person interaction.
- Violent crimes: Many different forms of violence are associated with gangs, including the use of weapons such as guns and knives, as well as assault and battery of rival gang members.
- Homicide: The most severe gang crime is the murder of another individual. A conviction can lead to the death penalty being requested.
The punishment of gang-related crimes will vary depending on the severity and the circumstances of the act, with charges often including felonies and long jail sentences. We have found that if prosecutors suspect gang-related activity, they will be more likely to aggressively prosecute the defendant and ask for more severe sentences.
What About Juvenile Gang Members?
For teenagers, gang-related transgressions may start small, such as graffiti or shoplifting. As with the more severe crimes mentioned above, prosecutors will be more likely to aggressively pursue charges, even for seemingly trivial activities, if gang involvement is suspected. Defendants could face penalties that include time spent in a reform program and court-mandated counseling.
Everyone deserves fair treatment and a second chance, but this is especially true for young people. One small mistake shouldn’t put a child’s future at risk. If your child is facing gang-related charges, don’t rely on the mercy of the court. You need to take the charges very seriously and seek out the counsel of an experienced Colorado Springs juvenile gang crime defense attorney as soon as possible. The Bussey Law Firm, P.C., offers a free consultation to get you started, and Timothy Bussey is well-known in courtrooms as one of the BEST trial attorneys in Colorado. He also holds the distinction of being one of the few lawyers throughout the state who maintains the ACS Forensic Lawyer-Scientist Designation, making him highly effective in protecting people’s rights.