Speak Up! - View Question #17616
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Question: If you are in a gang what happens if you tell a police officer?
If you admit to an officer that you are in a gang, your name will be entered into a database for known gang members. The issue may not affect you right away. However, if you are later convicted of a felony offense related to the gang membership, your punishment for that offense would be much more harsh than the sentence imposed on a non-gang defendant.
Most first-offense convictions are eligible for probation unless the offense is particularly dangerous. If you are a gang member, even first offenses are not eligible for probation, 3 years is added to the normal term of imprisonment, and you must serve the entire sentence. There is no possibility of early release for good behavior. (ARS 13-604(T)).
A person who is convicted of committing any felony offense with the intent to promote, further or assist any criminal conduct by a criminal street gang is not eligible for suspension of sentence, probation, pardon or release from confinement on any basis (except as authorized by section ARS 31-233) until the sentence imposed by the court has been served, the person is eligible for release (ARS 41-1604.07) or the sentence is commuted. The presumptive, minimum and maximum sentence for the offense shall be increased by three years. The additional sentence imposed is in addition to any enhanced sentence that may be applicable.