A Torrance Criminal Lawyer Explains the Law of Loitering by Gang Members

Many cities have ordinances prohibiting loitering.  In Los Angeles County as in the city of Torrance, these statutes are used primarily to deter criminal conduct by youths.  However, there is a specific statute in CA that criminalizes loitering for known gang members.  An example of such a law is codified in L.A. County Code §13.44.010. According to one Torrance Criminal Lawyer, that Code section makes it a misdemeanor for any person who is a member of a criminal street gang, as that term is defined in Penal Code §186.22(f), or who is in the company of or acting in concert with a member of a criminal street gang, to loiter or idle in a “public place,” as defined in that section, with the intent to publicize a criminal street gang’s dominance over certain territory in order to intimidate nonmembers of the gang from entering, remaining in, or using the public place or adjacent area. To find a violation of such an anti-loitering ordinance, there must be proof that the defendant loitered with the intent to commit a crime should the opportunity arise. This intent may be inferred using circumstatntial evidence. These laws are enforced quite vigorously and oftentimes rights may be violated in the zeal to curb gang violence. For example, merely being in the area and close to the conduct of illegal activity by others is insufficient to be convicted of the crime. Evidence of the defendant’s prior conduct, coupled with evidence of other suspicious but noncriminal conduct occurring right before the arrest, might be sufficient to show the required intent however, a lawyer should be consulted for specific defenses to your case.

About thetorranceattorney

Matthew Ruff is a Torrance criminal defense attorney located near the 405 freeway on Crenshaw Blvd. Focusing on DUI and serious criminal cases for over twenty years. In addition to criminal cases, Matthew also defends clients at the DMV.
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One Response to A Torrance Criminal Lawyer Explains the Law of Loitering by Gang Members

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