As any criminal defense attorney in San Diego will tell you, California has had a long history of street gangs that can deliver different levels of domestic terror and violence. Although it’s unpleasant to think about, it’s not uncommon for a teen to be charged with a gang crime.
What Counts as “Gang Crimes”?
In very recent years, gang crime in San Diego has skyrocketed. It demands the attention of the public, and its impact on the younger population of the city has changed how many people view gang crimes.
Gang crimes often include violent crimes, property crimes, and drug related offenses. Violent crimes make up a substantially larger portion of gang crime, and typically, those arising out of internal and external gang conflict.
Minors are just as capable of violent crimes and property crimes as well as drug crimes. When your child is a minor charged with a crime, you’ll want to arm them with more than a public defender who is overworked and can’t dedicate the necessary level of care to their case.
If you’re a minor and charged with a gang crime, then you should pursue other legal representatives to try to avoid spending your middle or high school years in a juvenile detention center.
Will a Minor Charged with a Gang Crime be Affected in Adulthood?
There are conditions in which criminal information may be released to the public, and in that sense, follow them into adulthood. Records should go through the sealing process, but in some adult cases, they can reopen or release those records. For example, during sentencing for the conviction of an adult case, they may consider past convictions or offenses as a vicarious aggravator.
Additionally, if the minor had a license to drive and it involved alcohol or substances and a vehicle, they would have to report that crime to the CA DMV. As part of the vehicle violation code that will follow them even after they reach adulthood.
Lifestyle Changes and Impact
Gang crimes follow people throughout their life. Many who do successfully break the mold and break away from the charges of gang crimes. But to accomplish that, it often calls for a lifestyle change. Even when the minor is completely innocent of the charges, the stigma is there, and it follows them through their days in high school and further if they’re known throughout the community.
For example, youths of 14-years or over, violent crimes or other serious crimes can lead to the minor’s name being printed or made public. Those records of newspaper articles and similar will be there forever.
Repeat Offenses and Gang Crimes Explained
Gang crimes will often result in repeated offenses for a few reasons. First, the mentality around gang charges is that they’ll be engrained in that lifestyle forever. Second, is the quick-to-convict environment around gang crimes. Because gangs are such a problem in Southern California, police, judges, and even public attorneys often view these teens as guilty before they’re even done in the courtroom. It’s not fair, and that mindset often leaves teens who get convictions to fall into the lifestyle, which will lead to repeat offenses into their adulthood.
It’s become part of the cycle, is bringing down young, at-risk teens with charges and sentencing that is unfair. Then with the information made available through the DMV or the public news, it’s clear that these teens don’t have much of a chance to bounce back from gang crime charges.
Getting Help for a Minor Charged with a Gang Crime
When a minor is facing gang charges, you need someone who will aggressively defend them. Too often, children and teens are taken advantage of by the California court system and seen as a product of their environment or a natural result of living in a specific neighborhood. They’re often left to stand up against charges that they should not have put against them at all.
San Diego Criminal helps San Diego residents fight criminal charges. Getting a criminal law firm in San Diego involved is often necessary. Get a proper defense, and fight to stay out of jail, and not have a record. If you’re the parent of a minor facing gang charges then you need to carefully consider how you choose your San Diego criminal defense lawyer. Thoroughly interview possible attorneys in San Diego to find someone who understands gang charges and the consequences they can have on a minor.