2005 Florida Code - CRIMES STREET TERRORISM ENFORCEMENT AND PREVENTIONChapter 874

CHAPTER 874

STREET TERRORISM ENFORCEMENT AND PREVENTION

874.01  Short title.

874.02  Legislative findings and intent.

874.03  Definitions.

874.04  Criminal street gang activity; enhanced penalties.

874.05  Causing, encouraging, soliciting, or recruiting criminal street gang membership.

874.06  Civil cause of action.

874.08  Profits, proceeds, and instrumentalities of criminal street gangs or criminal street gang recruitment; forfeiture.

874.09  Crime data information.

874.01  Short title.--This chapter may be cited as the "Criminal Street Gang Prevention Act of 1996."

History.--s. 1, ch. 90-207; s. 34, ch. 96-388.

874.02  Legislative findings and intent.--

(1)  The Legislature finds that it is the right of every person, regardless of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, age, sexual orientation, or handicap, to be secure and protected from fear, intimidation, and physical harm caused by the activities of criminal street gangs and their members. It is not the intent of this chapter to interfere with the exercise of the constitutionally protected rights of freedom of expression and association. The Legislature recognizes the constitutional right of every citizen to harbor and express beliefs on any lawful subject whatsoever, to lawfully associate with others who share similar beliefs, to petition lawfully constituted authority for a redress of perceived grievances, and to participate in the electoral process.

(2)  The Legislature finds, however, that the state is facing a mounting crisis caused by criminal street gangs whose members threaten and terrorize peaceful citizens and commit a multitude of crimes. These criminal street gang activities, both individually and collectively, present a clear and present danger. The state has a compelling interest in preventing criminal street gang activity, and the Legislature finds that the provisions of this act are necessary to maintain the public order and safety.

(3)  It is the intent of the Legislature to eradicate the terror created by criminal street gangs and their members by providing enhanced penalties and by eliminating the patterns, profits, proceeds, instrumentalities, and property facilitating criminal street gang activity, including criminal street gang recruitment.

History.--s. 1, ch. 90-207; s. 74, ch. 94-209; s. 56, ch. 95-267; s. 35, ch. 96-388.

874.03  Definitions.--As used in this chapter:

(1)  "Criminal street gang" means a formal or informal ongoing organization, association, or group that has as one of its primary activities the commission of criminal or delinquent acts, and that consists of three or more persons who have a common name or common identifying signs, colors, or symbols and have two or more members who, individually or collectively, engage in or have engaged in a pattern of criminal street gang activity.

(2)  "Criminal street gang member" is a person who is a member of a criminal street gang as defined in subsection (1) and who meets two or more of the following criteria:

(a)  Admits to criminal street gang membership.

(b)  Is identified as a criminal street gang member by a parent or guardian.

(c)  Is identified as a criminal street gang member by a documented reliable informant.

(d)  Resides in or frequents a particular criminal street gang's area and adopts their style of dress, their use of hand signs, or their tattoos, and associates with known criminal street gang members.

(e)  Is identified as a criminal street gang member by an informant of previously untested reliability and such identification is corroborated by independent information.

(f)  Has been arrested more than once in the company of identified criminal street gang members for offenses which are consistent with usual criminal street gang activity.

(g)  Is identified as a criminal street gang member by physical evidence such as photographs or other documentation.

(h)  Has been stopped in the company of known criminal street gang members four or more times.

(3)  "Pattern of criminal street gang activity" means the commission or attempted commission of, or solicitation or conspiracy to commit, two or more felony or three or more misdemeanor offenses, or one felony and two misdemeanor offenses, or the comparable number of delinquent acts or violations of law which would be felonies or misdemeanors if committed by an adult, on separate occasions within a 3-year period.

(4)  For purposes of law enforcement identification and tracking only:

(a)  "Criminal street gang associate" means a person who:

1.  Admits to criminal street gang association; or

2.  Meets any single defining criterion for criminal street gang membership described in subsection (2).

(b)  "Gang-related incident" means an incident that, upon investigation, meets any of the following conditions:

1.  The participants are identified as criminal street gang members or criminal street gang associates, acting, individually or collectively, to further any criminal purpose of the gang;

2.  A reliable informant identifies an incident as criminal street gang activity; or

3.  An informant of previously untested reliability identifies an incident as criminal street gang activity and it is corroborated by independent information.

History.--s. 1, ch. 90-207; s. 75, ch. 94-209; s. 36, ch. 96-388.

874.04  Criminal street gang activity; enhanced penalties.--Upon a finding by the court at sentencing that the defendant committed the charged offense for the purpose of benefiting, promoting, or furthering the interests of a criminal street gang, the penalty for any felony or misdemeanor, or any delinquent act or violation of law which would be a felony or misdemeanor if committed by an adult, may be enhanced. Each of the findings required as a basis for such sentence shall be found by a preponderance of the evidence. The enhancement will be as follows:

(1)(a)  A misdemeanor of the second degree may be punished as if it were a misdemeanor of the first degree.

(b)  A misdemeanor of the first degree may be punished as if it were a felony of the third degree. For purposes of sentencing under chapter 921 and determining incentive gain-time eligibility under chapter 944, such offense is ranked in level 1 of the offense severity ranking chart. The criminal street gang multiplier in s. 921.0024 does not apply to misdemeanors enhanced under this paragraph.

(2)(a)  A felony of the third degree may be punished as if it were a felony of the second degree.

(b)  A felony of the second degree may be punished as if it were a felony of the first degree.

(c)  A felony of the first degree may be punished as if it were a life felony.

For purposes of sentencing under chapter 921 and determining incentive gain-time eligibility under chapter 944, such felony offense is ranked as provided in s. 921.0022 or s. 921.0023, and without regard to the penalty enhancement in this subsection. For purposes of this section, penalty enhancement affects the applicable statutory maximum penalty only.

History.--s. 1, ch. 90-207; s. 76, ch. 94-209; s. 23, ch. 95-184; s. 37, ch. 96-388; s. 21, ch. 97-194; s. 1, ch. 2001-126.

874.05  Causing, encouraging, soliciting, or recruiting criminal street gang membership.--

(1)  A person who intentionally causes, encourages, solicits, or recruits another person to join a criminal street gang that requires as a condition of membership or continued membership the commission of any crime commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

(2)  Upon a second or subsequent offense, the person commits a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

History.--s. 38, ch. 96-388.

874.06  Civil cause of action.--A person or organization establishing, by clear and convincing evidence, coercion, intimidation, threats, or other harm to that person or organization in violation of this chapter has a civil cause of action for treble damages, an injunction, or any other appropriate relief in law or equity. Upon prevailing, the plaintiff may recover reasonable attorney's fees and costs.

History.--s. 1, ch. 90-207; s. 39, ch. 96-388.

874.08  Profits, proceeds, and instrumentalities of criminal street gangs or criminal street gang recruitment; forfeiture.--All profits, proceeds, and instrumentalities of criminal street gang activity and all property used or intended or attempted to be used to facilitate the criminal activity of any criminal street gang or of any criminal street gang member; and all profits, proceeds, and instrumentalities of criminal street gang recruitment and all property used or intended or attempted to be used to facilitate criminal street gang recruitment are subject to seizure and forfeiture under the Florida Contraband Forfeiture Act, s. 932.704.

History.--s. 1, ch. 90-207; s. 77, ch. 94-209; s. 55, ch. 95-267; s. 40, ch. 96-388.

874.09  Crime data information.--The Department of Law Enforcement may develop and manage a statewide criminal street gang database to facilitate the exchange of information pursuant to the intent and purpose of this chapter.

History.--s. 1, ch. 90-207; s. 41, ch. 96-388.

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