Why Hire an Oakland Gang Crimes Lawyer?

Choosing a local gang crimes attorney to advocate for you when you have been accused of a violent offense is invaluable. When you choose Morris Law to take on your case, you can rely on your criminal defense lawyer throughout the claims process. Here are some of the top benefits of selecting our team for your defense:

They’ll Protect Your Rights

Whether you have been falsely accused of a gang-related crime or need to take an affirmative defense, your lawyer will be ready to advocate for your rights at trial, challenge prosecutorial or police misconduct, and prepare a compelling defense strategy.

They’ll Challenge the Prosecution’s Claims

You can rely on your gang crimes attorney to petition the court when police have unlawfully obtained evidence. If the prosecutor was relying on this evidence to convict you, your case could be dismissed before it ever goes to court.

They’ll Defend You at Trial

Working out a plea agreement or entering a pretrial diversion program may be in your best interests, depending on the evidence against you. Your criminal defense lawyer will be prepared to negotiate for a favorable outcome and bring your case before a judge and jury if a plea bargain is not an option in your case.

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Katie S.

We Handle All Gang-Related Offenses

Multiple offenses are considered gang-related in California. Under California Penal Code § 186.22, you could face harsh criminal penalties for participating in a street gang. Here are some of the most common gang-related crimes you could be charged with:

What is the STEP Act?

The California Street Terrorism Enforcement and Prevention Act (STEP) under California Penal Code § 186.22 was enacted in 1988. It was designed to enhance the sentencing requirements for those convicted of gang-related offenses.

The law carefully details which parties and crimes present a threat and danger to the public and allows additional penalties for those convicted of certain types of offenses that, while not always, are often gang-related.

What is Gang Enhancement?

According to California Penal Code § 186.22(b)(4), gang enhancements increase the penalties for those convicted of gang-related crimes. Anyone convicted of a felony-level gang-related crime can be subject to gang enhancement penalties.

Some of the most common types of offenses that receive gang enhancement penalties include:

The consequences of gang enhancement penalties can include as much as 15 years in a California state prison. This means you could be facing an additional 15 years incarcerated on top of the consequences of your initial criminal conviction.

What Penalties Could You Face for Gang-Related Offenses in Oakland?

The impact a gang-related conviction will have on your life is undeniable. Many of these charges can be tried as misdemeanors or felonies, depending on the circumstances of your case. The severity of your penalties will vary based on the crime you are charged with, your criminal record, and whether anyone was seriously injured or killed.

With that in mind, here are some of the top penalties associated with gang crime convictions in Oakland, CA:

  • Misdemeanor convictions could result in up to six months in a county jail and fines of up to $1,000
  • Felony gang crime convictions could result in as much as eight years in a California state prison and fines not to exceed $10,000
  • Gang sentencing enhancements could include up to 15 additional years in a California state prison

You could also spend the rest of your life in prison if your conviction falls under California’s Three Strike Law. With criminal penalties this severe, it is crucial to obtain the legal guidance and support of a criminal defense lawyer you can rely on to help you dodge the fallout of a guilty verdict.

How Your Life Will Be Affected By a Conviction

It is not only criminal penalties you need to be concerned with after being convicted of a gang crime in Oakland. Collateral consequences describe how your life and future will be affected if you are found guilty.

Some of these consequences include the following:

  • Loss of firearm rights
  • Temporary loss of voting rights
  • Disqualification from federal student aid opportunities
  • Trouble finding affordable or safe housing
  • Completion of a court-ordered drug or alcohol treatment program
  • Completion of court-ordered community service or mental health counseling
  • Child visitation or custody troubles
  • Risk of deportation or other citizenship issues

What Defenses Could an Oakland, CA Attorney Use?

Here are some of the top defenses to gang-related charges in Oakland:

Constitutional Violations

Your case could be dismissed when police do not read you your Miranda rights, conduct unlawful searches and seizures, or otherwise violate your constitutional rights.


In some instances, an affirmative defense will likely yield the most favorable outcome. If you were defending yourself and only used reasonable force to defend or protect yourself or someone else, you should be able to avoid a criminal conviction.

You are Innocent

Your attorney will need to gather compelling evidence that proves there is reasonable doubt that you could have committed a gang-related crime in question. We may need to present video footage of the incident, medical documentation, surveillance from your job, or other concrete proof that you have an alibi and are innocent of the allegations against you.

Mistaken Identity

Unfortunately, cases of mistaken identity are far more common than they should be. Suppose the witness is unreliable, has memory issues, or could reasonably have mistaken your identity. In that case, your attorney will take steps to convince the jury so you can secure an acquittal.

Get Help From a Gang Crimes Lawyer in Oakland, CA Today

You do not need to let the impact of a conviction destroy your reputation and future. Attorney Seth Morris is here to help you regain control of your life. With years of experience handling gang crimes across the Bay Area, you can rely on him and his team to guide you through the criminal justice system and fight for your freedom.