A criminal street gang in Virginia is defined in §18.2-46.1 as “any ongoing organization, association, or group of three or more persons, whether formal or informal, (i) which has as one of its primary objectives or activities the commission of one or more criminal activities; (ii) which has an identifiable name or identifying sign or symbol; and (iii) whose members individually or collectively have engaged in the commission of, attempt to commit, conspiracy to commit, or solicitation of two or more predicate criminal acts, at least one of which is an act of violence, provided such acts were not part of a common act or transaction.”
Participation in Criminal Street Gang in Virginia
It is a Class 5 felony to participate in or be a member of a criminal street gang and knowingly and willfully participate in a criminal act for the benefit of, at the direction of, or in association with a criminal street gang. This crime is punished with up to 10 years in prison. An adult who participates in a criminal street gang knowing that the street gang includes a juvenile has committed a Class 4 felony. This offense is punished with 2 to 10 years in prison.
Recruitment of Person into Criminal Street Gang in Virginia
Recruiting a person to participate in or join a criminal street gang is a Class 1 misdemeanor under §18.2-46.3(A). Recruiting a juvenile to participate in or join a criminal street gang is a Class 6 felony punished with up to 5 years in prison.
Multiple Offences of Criminal Street Gang Participation or Recruitment
If an offender is convicted of a felony violation of participation in a criminal street gang or criminal street gang recruitment and has been convicted twice before in the past ten years of criminal street gang participation or recruitment, the offense is a Class 3 felony under §18.2-46.3:1.
Threatening Force to Join Criminal Street Gang in Virginia
Using or threatening force against a person or a member of his family or household and placing a person in reasonable apprehension of death or bodily injury to encourage a person to join or remain in a criminal street gang is a felony is a Class 6 felony under Va. Code §18.1-46.3(B). Conviction for this offense is punished with up to 5 years in prison.
Criminal Street Gang Activity On or Near School Property
Va. Code §18.2-46.3:3 states that a conviction for participation in a criminal street gang on school property, within 1000 feet of a school, on a school bus, or at public community centers or rec centers is a Class 5 felony or a Class 4 felony if the adult offender knew there was a juvenile member of the criminal street gang. Conviction for this offense will result in a mandatory minimum, consecutive term of 2 years in prison under §18.2-46.3:3.
Recruiting a person for criminal street gang activity on school or public property is a Class 6 felony under Va. Code §18.2-46.3:3. An adult convicted of recruitment of a juvenile into a criminal street gang on or near school or certain public property has committed a Class 5 felony.
Hazing of Gang Members and Prospective Gang Members
Hazing a member of a criminal street gang or a person trying to become a member of a criminal street gang member is a Class 1 misdemeanor under §18.2-55.1. For purposes of this crime, hazing means recklessly or intentionally endangering the health or safety of a person or to inflict bodily injury on a person for initiation, admission to, affiliation with, or continued membership in a criminal street gang.