Arizona’s Gang Laws

Arizona gang laws.

Arizona’s Gang Laws

According to law enforcement, criminal activity related to gang violence is often quite serious, with legal ramifications for the criminal offenders, as well as potential physical injury or death for the people around them as a result of heightened violence. Arizona takes a tough stance on criminals involved with gangs through A.R.S. 13-2321.

The state of Arizona defines a “criminal street gang” as:

An ongoing formal or informal association of persons in which members or associates individually or collectively engage in the commission, attempted commission, facilitation, or solicitation of any felony act and that has at least one individual who is a criminal street gang member.

In order to be considered a member of a criminal street gang, an individual must meet at least two of the following criteria that indicate criminal street gang membership:

  1. Self-proclamation
  2. Witness testimony or official statement
  3. Written or electronic correspondence
  4. Paraphernalia or photographs
  5. Tattoos
  6. Clothing or colors
  7. Any other indicia of street gang membership

Additionally, the use of a common name or common identifying sign or symbol shall be admissible and may be considered in proving the existence of a criminal street gang or membership in a criminal street gang.

Participating in a Criminal Street Gang

Participating in a criminal street gang is a class 2 felony in the state of Arizona. First-time offenders can face incarceration of up to 12.5 years. Any of the following scenarios represents criminal street gang participation, for which the offender can be charged:

  1. Intentionally organizing, managing, directing, supervising, or financing a criminal street gang with the intent to promote or further the criminal objectives of the criminal street gang.
  2. Knowingly inciting or inducing others to engage in violence or intimidation to promote or further the criminal objectives of a criminal street gang.
  3. Furnishing advice or direction in the conduct, financing, or management of a criminal street gang’s affairs with the intent to promote or further the criminal objectives of a criminal street gang.
  4. Intentionally promoting or furthering the criminal objectives of a criminal street gang by inducing or committing any act or omission by a public servant in violation of the public servant’s official duty.

Assisting a Criminal Street Gang

Assisting a criminal street gang is a class 3 felony in the state of Arizona. First-time offenders can face incarceration of up to 8.75 years.

A person commits assisting a criminal street gang by committing any felony offense, whether completed or preparatory for the benefit of, at the direction of, or in association with, any criminal street gang.

Sentence Enhancements for Gang Members

Individuals who participate or assist in a criminal street gang face sentence enhancements for the specific crime they committed as a result of the crime’s relation to gang activity. This sentence enhancement makes misdemeanor crimes become felonies.

Moreover, members of criminal street gangs who use or exhibit deadly weapons during the commission of their crime typically are not eligible for probation or diversion programs. Given that such gang members often pose severe danger to the people around them, they are often sentenced to lengthy incarceration in the Arizona Department of Corrections.



With offices in Lake Havasu City and Scottsdale, our firm serves the entire state of Arizona, with a particular focus on criminal defense, family law, and juvenile cases.

Our goal is for the best outcome for your criminal case, which can include:

  • charges that are reduced or dropped.
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  • fines or probation in lieu of jail time.

At Rideout Law Group, our attorneys are able to expertly examine the evidence in your case to provide a strong strategy for argument that leads to an outcome that is most favorable to you. We have experience in all types of criminal cases for both adults and juveniles, with positive outcomes both in plea negotiations as well as jury trial settings.

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