Are You a Gang Member? The DA Might Think So. - The Abuse of Gang Injunctions and Enhancements
October 3, 2015
Hosted by Lonnie McDowell
California enacted the "Street Terrorism Enforcement and Prevention (STEP) Act - Penal Code 186.22 to help fight the rise of gang crimes in the 1980's. It was a powerful tool for prosecutors, enhancing the sentence of anyone convicted of committing a crime for the benefit of or at the direction of a gang. But today PC 186.22 is being abused and misused by prosecutors to force non-gang members to accept lengthy sentences in plea negotiations or face even longer sentences if convicted of PC 186.22. This week we will speak with noted gang expert, Martin M. Flores about how more and more people are being charged with gang enhancements for circumstances never meant to be covered under PC 186.22. We'll discuss how police officers who are supposed to be trained in gang recognition and identification classify the activities of almost anything a gang member, former gang member, and people never associated with a gang as being for the benefit of a gang in order to use 186.22 as a weapon
Your Best Legal Defense
Archives Available on VoiceAmerica Variety Channel
Curious about the law? Do you have a question about the criminal justice system, but don’t know who to turn to?
Questions about the law and the legal process require someone with a firm understanding of arrest, arraignment, bail, trial and sentencing process. While many people ask a friend or family member who they think understands the legal process, there’s no substitute for a legal professional to answer your legal questions.
We will introduce guest hosts that have expertise in various facets of the law and how it affects you and the ones you love. Being able to separate fact from fiction means you’ll be better prepared if you’re arrested or someone you know is involved in the court system.
We’ll also talk about the pressing criminal defense news and court cases of the week and what they mean to you. Finally, you’ll be invited to call in with your own questions, and if you require anonymity or discretion to discuss your case or situation, let us know.
Lonnie McDowell was named one of the Top 100 California Criminal Defense Trial Attorneys for 2014 and 2015 by The National Trial Lawyers Association and continues to be one of the best in Los Angeles. He has seven years of trial experience and worked in one of the city’s largest defense firms before striking out on his own to found McDowell and Associates. He is dedicated to offering personalized service and the best possible defense to all his clients.
An alumnus of Southwestern Law School, Mr. McDowell graduated with high honors, made the dean’s list and was awarded with the dean’s scholarship. He was also the lead articles editor and a board member of the Southwestern Law Review, while working as a teaching assistant and as a tutor for criminal law classes. Mr. McDowell was also selected for a Los Angeles Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates fellowship, one of nine awarded that year, exposing him to the many facets of litigation. Mr. McDowell was also a certified law clerk for the United States Attorney’s Office, District of Nevada, in its Organized Crime Strike Force.
In addition to the American Bar Association, Mr. McDowell is a member of the Los Angeles County Bar Association, The Beverly Hills Bar Association, The Association of Southern California Defense Counsel, The Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and the National College for DUI Defense.