According to the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), “Because of their propensity for violence and close associations with ruthless Mexican cartels, gangs are a serious threat to public safety in Texas.” In light of that statement, the DPS maintains that the residents of Texas have the “right to live free from fear and crime.”
Each year, the Texas Gang Threat Assessment (an annual report on gang-related crime in Texas) is submitted to the Texas Legislature and the governor to assess the threat imposed by gangs throughout Texas. The report is a compilation of information from various law enforcement and criminal justice agencies in Texas and throughout the nation.
According to the DPS, the information gathered from various state and national agencies on gang-related crime is “essential in creating this comprehensive overview of gang activity in Texas.”
Some of the findings reported by the DPS:
- Gangs are a significant threat to public safety in Texas due to their involvement in violent crimes.
- In 2015, the Tier 1 gangs in Texas, included: Tango Blast, Tango Cliques, Texas Syndicate, Texas Mexican Mafia, Mara Salvatrucha, and the Latin Kings.
- The gangs in Texas continue to be active in human trafficking and human smuggling.
- The gangs involved in human smuggling are directly involved with Mexican cartels.
Enhanced Penalties for Gang-Related Crime
In Texas, the state imposes enhanced penalties upon offenders who commit gang-related crimes. Under Section 71.02(b) of the Texas Penal Code, when a person commits a gang-related crime, the offense is one category higher than it would be if it was not connected to a gang.
For example, if an offense is normally a felony of the second degree, if it was a gang-related crime, it would be charged as a felony of the first degree under Sec. 71.02(b). Some of the crimes covered under Sec. 71.02, Engaging in Organized Criminal Activity, include:
- Sexual Assault
- Deadly Conduct
- Aggravated Assault
- Aggravated Sexual Assault
- Aggravated Robbery
- Capital Murder
- Solicitation of a Minor
- Burglary of a Motor Vehicle
- Continuous Sexual Abuse of Young Child or Children
Are you, or someone you love being charged with a gang-related crime in Plano or Dallas? If so, we urge you to contact The Zendeh Del Law Firm, PLLC at once for a hard-hitting defense.
Call 888-4-ZEN-LAW today to schedule your consultation.