Federal and local law enforcement officers combined to make a total of 180 gang-related arrests in Arizona over the summer of 2015. The U.S. Marshals Service’s “Operation GRIT 2015” targeted violent fugitives with ties to street gangs. “GRIT” stands for Gang Research, Intelligence, and Targeting. When you are charged with a crime that is considered “gang-related,” if you are convicted, your sentence will be harsher than it would be without the gang connection. “Enhanced” or harsher sentencing for gang-related crimes is one way that Arizona combats gang and youth violence. If you or someone you love is charged with a gang-related crime in the Phoenix area or elsewhere in Arizona, speak promptly with an experienced Phoenix criminal defense lawyer.

The Operation GRIT arrests this summer targeted dozens of suspects charged with violent and serious offenses. Of the suspects arrested, 33 were charged with aggravated assault, 59 were charged with drug offenses, 28 were charged with weapons offenses, five were charged for homicides, five for robbery, eight for sex crimes, and nine for assisting a criminal street gang. Those figures are impressive, but not everyone arrested is guilty, and not every arrest will lead to a conviction. If you have been arrested and charged with a crime that is allegedly gang-related, in Phoenix or elsewhere in Arizona, you need to be represented by an experienced Phoenix criminal defense lawyer who will fight aggressively for justice on your behalf.

Many people have been erroneously charged with “gang-related” offenses who have never belonged to a gang or who only vaguely know anyone who does. If you are charged with a gang-related crime and you’re innocent, or if you committed a minor crime that was not a gang crime but you were wrongly charged, tell an experienced Phoenix criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible after you’ve been arrested. Help is here if you or someone you love is charged with a crime in Arizona, but you must take the first step and make the call promptly.