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What is the California Street Terrorism Enforcement and Prevention (STEP) Act?

The California Street Terrorism Enforcement and Prevention (STEP) act was enacted in 1988 to protect citizens from gang violence. It was passed by politicians as an enforcement to be “tough” on gang violence. Let’s take a look at the rules this act has brought into play.

Legislature over this act says the following:

The Legislature hereby finds and declares that it is the right of every person, regardless of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, gender, gender identity, gender expression, age, sexual orientation, or handicap, to be secure and protected from fear, intimidation, and physical harm caused by the activities of violent groups and individuals...

Any person who actively participates in any criminal street gang with knowledge that its members engage in, or have engaged in, a pattern of criminal gang activity, and who willfully promotes, furthers, or assists in any felonious criminal conduct by members of that gang, shall be punished by imprisonment in a county jail for a period not to exceed one year, or by imprisonment in the state prison for 16 months, or two or three years.

Essentially this has made penalties harsher for an individual if they happen to be in a gang or related to any similar groups. The penal Code 186.22(e) has listed 32 crimes that can be considered apart of gang activity. Some of these offenses include:

  • Assault

  • Robbery

  • Sale, distribution, or manufacture of controlled substances

  • Arson

  • Grand theft

  • Rape

  • Burglary

  • Looting

  • Money laundering

  • Kidnapping

  • Carjacking and many more

Next Steps

If you are facing gang-related charges we may be able to help. Here at Schweitzer & Davidian, we have the skills, experience, and determination to help get you a favorable outcome for your case.

We have handled countless criminal defense cases and know how to navigate the legal system. When you need someone who you can trust to help defend your rights and freedom, rest assured Schweitzer & Davidian is here for you. You can reach us at (559) 206-2322 or contact us through our website today.