Gang Crimes in Florida

What is the definition of a Criminal Gang?

The Law defines what type of organization is considered a gang under Florida law and gives specific criteria for labeling a person a gang member. A definition of a criminal gang is provided inSection 874.03 of the statute. This section states that a “criminal gang” is:

  • a formal or informal ongoing organization, association, or group that commits crimes primarily.
  • that consists of three or more persons who have a common name, signs colors or symbols.
  • that includes terrorist organizations and hate groups.

Common Gang Crimes?

How is a juvenile determined to be a member of a criminal gang?

Section 874.03 states that a criminal gang member is a person who admits to association with a gang or who meets two or more of the following criteria

  • Identified as a gang member by a parent or guardian.
  • Identified as a gang member by an informant…
  •  Adopts the style of dress of a criminal gang.
  • Adopts the use of a hand signs used by a gang
  • Has a tattoo used by a criminal gang.
  • Associates with one or more known criminal gang members.
  • Identified as a gang member by physical evidence.
  • Has been observed in the company of one or more known criminal gang members four or more times.

What is Juvenile Gang Related Activity?

A definition “criminal gang activity” is also provided in Section 874.03 of the law.  Criminal gang activity means:

  • An activity committed with the intent to benefit the interests of a criminal gang,
  • An activity committed for the purposes of increasing a person’s position in a gang.
  • An activity where gang members act together or individually to further any criminal purpose of a gang.
  • An activity that is identified as criminal gang activity by an informant…

Gang Prevention in Florida

The Criminal Gang Enforcement & Prevention Act was passed by theFlorida Legislature in response to a mounting crisis caused by criminal gangs in the state.  Criminal gangs throughout the state often strengthen their organization by attracting young recruits.  The intent of the legislature in passing the statute above was to reduce the harmful effects to the community created by youth and street gangs and to eliminate patterns and profits of gang activity.

Because of Florida policymakers increasing focus on eliminating gang violence, it is critical for community members to understand what actions may put them at risk of criminal charges.  There are very specific laws that apply to gang activity on top of any specific crime that a gang member might engage in.

At you can see, the rules regarding gangs and gang activity may be applied to many different groups and activities.  You may face gang charges even if you don’t consider yourself a member. Charges and/or a conviction of juvenile gang related activity can have a lifetime impact for the accused. For help defending against such charges, call 877-663-5110.

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