If a felony is committed for the benefit of a criminal street gang, with the specific intent to promote, further, or assist any criminal conduct by gang members, the punishment is far more serious than it would otherwise be for the offense. (Penal Code 186.22(b)) In addition, “active participation” in a criminal street gang with knowledge that its members engage or have engaged in a pattern of criminal activity, coupled with willful promotion, furthering, or assisting of any felonious criminal conduct by gang members, is, in and of itself, a criminal offense. (Penal Code 186.22(a)) Prosecutors and legislators treat gang crimes resolutely. It is important that defense counsel be equally aggressive. Please call Alanna D. Coopersmith at (510) 628-0596 for a free consultation.