Gang Membership in Texas

According to Texas law if a person is a member of a criminal street gang and commits or conspires to commit any number of crimes it is considered organized criminal activity.

These crimes include murder, arson, robbery, burglary, theft, kidnapping, assault, sexual assault, forgery, deadly conduct, gambling, prostitution, unlawful manufacture transportation repair or sale of firearms or prohibited weapons, unlawful manufacture delivery dispensation or distribution of controlled substances, possession of a controlled substance or dangerous drug through forgery, fraud, misrepresentation or deception, unlawful wholesale promotion or possession of obscene material, and more.

It is also considered a crime under Texas law to solicit a minor with intent to recruit a person into gang membership or use threats or intimidation to promote gang related conduct.

There are several different types of gangs in Texas. These gangs differ slightly in their focus and the type of activity they are involved in.

Delinquent youth gangs are groups of young people, mostly juveniles, who hang out together wearing identifying signs such as similar clothing, or hand signals. They engage in delinquent or undesirable behavior such as truancy and vandalism to the detriment of neighborhood residents and school officials. Often these members have not committed serious crimes.

Turf based gangs are groups of young people including both juveniles and/or adults which are more organized, usually with one or more leaders, identifying signs, name and clothing styles. These groups are associated with a territory which they defend against rival gangs. These types of gang members often participate in organized vandalism such as graffiti, assault and sometimes more serious crimes such as homicide or murder.

Gain oriented gangs include both juveniles and adults with organized leadership repeatedly engage serious criminal activities both as a group and individually primarily for economic gain. These activities include robbery, theft and distribution and sale of controlled substances or drugs.

Finally, violent or hate gangs are groups of people including both juveniles and adults that collectively engage in acts of violence toward specific groups of individuals associated with racial, religious, political or other sectors of society. These gangs often participate in serious crimes of property destruction, harassment, assault, or even homicide. Geographical turf and/or material gain are not primary objectives.

Gang Membership (Criminal) in Texas Law

Civil Practice and Remedies


pertaining to coercing soliciting or inducing gain membership, public nuisance, suit to abate nuisance, street gang, gang activity, action for violation of injunction

Criminal Procedure


pertaining to gang-related conduct, community supervision, criminal combination and criminal street gang intelligence database, criminal information relating to a child, removal of records, texas violence gang task force, gang resources

Education Code


pertaining to counselors, information regarding gang free zones, fraternities sororities secret societies and gangs, solicitation of gang membership

Family Code


pertaining to gang-related conduct, exempted records

Government Code


pertaining to deterring gang related activities, notification of release of gang member, specialized training, electronic monitoring of criminal street gang, prison diversion aggressive sanctions program, equal access to facilities services and treatment, search for parent or guardian of a child, texas anti-ganggrant program

Health & Safety Code


pertaining to prohibited tattoos, gang-related names or symbols

Human Resource Code


pertaining to information regarding gang free zones, day care center

Local Government Code


pertaining to district responsibilities, limitation on expenditures, street gang intervention

Penal Code


pertaining to criminal solicitation of a minor, consent as offensive assaultive kaunda, unlawful carrying of weapons, organized criminal activity, coercing inducing or soliciting membership in a criminal street gang, directing activities of criminal street gang, gang free zones, maps as evidence of location

Transportation Code


pertaining to conspiring to manufacture counterfeit license or certificate

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John Q. Lawyer

Attorney at Law

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