Virginia State Code Regarding Gangs

§ 18.2-46.1.Definitions.

As used in this article unless the context requires otherwise or it is otherwise provided:

"Act of violence" means those felony offenses described in subsection A of § 19.2-297.1.

"Criminal street gang" means 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.

§ 18.2-46.2. Prohibited criminal street gang participation; penalty.

A. Any person who actively participates in or is a member of a criminal street gang and who knowingly and willfully participates in any predicate criminal act committed for the benefit of, at the direction of, or in association with any criminal street gang shall be guilty of a Class 5 felony. However, if such participant in or member of a criminal street gang is age eighteen years or older and knows or has reason to know that such criminal street gang also includes a juvenile member or participant, he shall be guilty of a Class 4 felony.

B. Violation of this section shall constitute a separate and distinct offense. If the acts or activities violating this section also violate another provision of law, a prosecution under this section shall not prohibit or bar any prosecution or proceeding under such other provision or the imposition of any penalties provided for thereby.

(2000, c. 332.)

§ 18.2-46.3. Recruitment of persons for criminal street gang; penalty.

A. Any person who solicits, invites, recruits, encourages or otherwise causes or attempts to cause another to actively participate in or become a member of what he knows to be a criminal street gang is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. Any person age 18 years or older who solicits, invites, recruits, encourages or otherwise causes or attempts to cause a juvenile to actively participate in or become a member of what he knows to be a criminal street gang is guilty of a Class 6 felony.

B. Any person who, in order to encourage an individual (a) to join a criminal street gang, (b) to remain as a participant in or a member of a criminal street gang, or (c) to submit to a demand made by a criminal street gang to commit a felony violation of this title, (i) uses force against the individual or a member of his family or household or (ii) threatens force against the individual or a member of his family or household, which threat would place any person in reasonable apprehension of death or bodily injury, is guilty of a Class 6 felony. The definition of "family or household member" set forth in § 16.1-228 applies to this section.

(2000, c. 332; 2004, cc. 396, 435.)

§ 18.2-46.3:1. Third or subsequent conviction of criminal street gang crimes.

Upon a felony conviction of § 18.2-46.2 or § 18.2-46.3, where it is alleged in the warrant, information or indictment on which a person is convicted that (i) such person has been previously convicted twice under any combination of § 18.2-46.2 or § 18.2-46.3, within 10 years of the third or subsequent offense, and (ii) each such offense occurred on different dates, such person is guilty of a Class 3 felony.

(2004, cc. 396, 435, 847.)

§ 18.2-55.1. Hazing of youth gang members unlawful; criminal liability.

It shall be unlawful to cause bodily injury by hazing (i) any member of a youth gang as defined in § 16.1-299.2 or a criminal street gang as defined in § 18.2-46.1, or (ii) a person seeking to become a member of a youth gang or criminal street gang. Any person found guilty of hazing is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

For the purposes of this section, "hazing" means to recklessly or intentionally endanger the health or safety of a person or to inflict bodily injury on a person in connection with or for the purpose of initiation, admission into or affiliation with or as a condition for continued membership in a youth gang or criminal street gang regardless of whether the person so endangered or injured participated voluntarily in the relevant activity.

(2004, c. 850.)