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Gang Enhancements - Utah Criminal Defense Attorney

Under Utah criminal law, certain crimes are subject to a "gang enhancement" which can substantially increases the level of the offense. Stephen Howard has successfully handled literally thousands of serious felony charges during his career. If you are facing criminal charges in Utah, you need an experienced criminal defense lawyer with a record of achieving real results for his clients.

Elements of a Gang Enhancement in Utah

Section 76-3-203.1 of Utah's criminal code provides that a person is subject to this enhancement for group criminal activity if the offense is committed "in concert with two or more persons." The concept of acting "in concert" is defined as meaning that the person "was aided or encouraged by at least two other persons in committing the offense and was aware that he was so aided or encouraged."

Under Utah law, a prosecutor does not need to prove that a defendant was associated with a formal gang in order to impose a gang enhancement. Instead, any group of individuals acting with the necessary intent can form the basis of a gang enhancement. But a gang enhancement can also apply to an individual who commits the crime on his own, if the crime was committed at the direction of or for the benefit of a "criminal street gang" or if the crime was committed for the purpose of gaining membership in or increasing the defendant's status in a "criminal street gang."

Not all Utah crimes are subject to potential gang enhancement. But the Utah legislature has established broad categories of offenses to which the enhancement may apply, including drug crimes, violent crimes, kidnapping, sex crimes, burglary, robbery, theft, fraud, and more.

Punishment for Gang-Enhanced Crimes in Utah

If you are charged with an offense that is subject to a gang enhancement, the level of the charge may be increased by one step.  For example, a class A misdemeanor would become a felony charge. And a mid-level felony would become a first degree felony punishable by up to life in prison. Potential fines for some gang-enhanced crimes can be more than double the fine for a standard criminal charge.

Finding a Criminal Defense Lawyer in Salt Lake City, Utah

Any criminal case is serious. But if you are facing a criminal charge subject to a gang enhancement, the stakes are even higher. Based in Salt Lake City, criminal defense attorney Stephen Howard offers legal services to clients throughout Utah. Contact us today to schedule an initial consultation. See what an experienced attorney can do for you.


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Serving Salt Lake, Davis, Weber, Utah, Cache, Tooele, Summit, Box Elder, and Wasatch Counties, and all of Utah.

Attorney Stephen Howard practices as part of the Canyons Law Group, LLC and Stephen W. Howard, PC.

Offices in Salt Lake and Davis Counties
560 South 300 East, Suite 200, Salt Lake City, UT 84111
952 S. Main St., Suite A, Layton, UT 84041

Call now to arrange for a confidential initial consultation with an experienced and effective Utah criminal defense lawyer.

In Salt Lake City, call 801-449-1409.
In Davis County, call 801-923-4345.

Stephen W. Howard, PC

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