Have you, or someone you care about, been charged with committing a crime for the benefit of, at the direction of, or in association with a criminal street gang?

This is an increasingly prevalent charge. Usually, it is added to other charges as what is called a "gang enhancement." District Attorneys' offices love to add this because it makes it easier to obtain a conviction. Instead of proving that you committed any crimes, they can talk about gangs instead and scare or prejudice the jury.

The California District Attorneys Association has even published articles telling District Attorneys in California to be sure and charge this crime whenever possible because this will allow them to call police officers "experts" on gangs and put them in front of the jury. As The Prosecutor's Brief — a publication of the California District Attorneys Association — said, "a gang expert can rely on hearsay....the gang expert makes your case in chief." (Pawloski & Brown, S.T.E.P. on Gangs in Prosecutor's Brief (date unknown) Vol. XX, No. 3 p. 46.)

The "case in chief," of course, is the real case that the District Attorney should be trying to prove. However, District Attorneys have found that if they just give evidence against gangs to a jury, they don't have to prove their "real" case. The juries will be so prejudiced against gang members that they will convict anyway. This helps the District Attorney win even weak cases.

There are supposed to be legal limitations to how this works, but many attorneys simply don't understand the law concerning gangs and gang "experts."

Rick Horowitz will fight hard for your rights and will work to prevent or limit this kind of unreliable hearsay evidence so that you can obtain a fair trial.

Attorney Rick Horowitz, has been focusing on gang defense since before he was an attorney. In 2004, when he was still a law student, Rick successfully argued in the Superior Court of the County of Fresno that portions of a gang injunction were unconstitutional. In 2006, he assisted Criminal Law Specialist David R. Mugridge in a special circumstances, double-homicide trial in which he successfully argued to exclude all gang evidence. (The murder charges really had nothing to do with gangs. The District Attorney, following the same thinking of the California District Attorneys Association, just wanted to prejudice the jury by introducing gang evidence.)

Get Rick Horowitz to fight for your rights today!