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Gang-Related Convictions Reversed

People v. Velez Docket: F081839 (Fifth Appellate District), Opinion Date: December 2, 2022. Defendant was convicted of attempted murder as well as various gang-related offenses. The court sentenced Defendant to 15 years to life with a minimum parole eligibility date of 7 years plus 10 years for vicarious “use of the firearm." However, while the case was pending appeal, the California Legislature passed Assembly Bill No. 333 ("AB 333"). Defendant raised various challenges, including some under AB 333. Largely the Fifth Appellate District denied relief. However, the Fifth Appellate District reversed defendant's convictions for two gang-related convictions the court failed to instruct the jury on the elements of carrying a loaded firearm in public as an active participant in a criminal street gang. The court also found that Defendant was improperly convicted of both carrying a loaded firearm in public as an active gang participant and the necessarily included offense of active participation in a criminal street gang.

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