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Session of 2012

No. 2012-200

 

HB 1121

 

AN ACT

 

Amending Titles 18 (Crimes and Offenses) and 42 (Judiciary and Judicial Procedure) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, providing for the offense of recruiting criminal gang members and for sentencing for offenses committed in association with a criminal gang.

 

The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania hereby enacts as follows:

 

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Section 1.  Chapter 51 of Title 18 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes is amended by adding a subchapter to read:

SUBCHAPTER C

CRIMINAL GANGS

Sec.

5131.  Recruiting criminal gang members.

§ 5131.  Recruiting criminal gang members.

(a)  Offense defined.--A person commits the offense of recruiting criminal gang members by:

(1)  knowingly soliciting or otherwise causing or attempting to cause a person to participate or remain in a criminal gang;

(2)  knowingly inflicting bodily injury as defined in section 2301 (relating to definitions) or using physical menace, force, threats or other intimidation causing or attempting to cause a person to participate or remain in a criminal gang; or

(3)  knowingly inflicting serious bodily injury as defined in section 2301 on any person causing or attempting to cause a person to participate or remain in a criminal  gang.

(b)  Grading.--

(1)  Except as provided under paragraph (2), the following shall apply:

(i)  An offense under subsection (a)(1) is a misdemeanor of the second degree.

(ii)  An offense under subsection (a)(2) is a misdemeanor of the first degree.

(iii)  An offense under subsection (a)(3) is a felony of the third degree.

(2)  A violation of this section shall be graded one degree higher than provided under paragraph (1) if the subject of the recruiting is under 16 years of age.

(c)  Defenses.--It shall not be a defense to this offense that the subject of the recruiting did not join, participate or remain in a criminal gang.

(d)  Liability for other violations of statutes.--This section shall not be construed to limit prosecution under any other provision of law.

(e)  Definition.--As used in this section, the term "criminal gang" means a formal or informal ongoing organization, association or group, with or without an established hierarchy, that has as one of its primary activities the commission of criminal or delinquent acts and that consists of three or more persons.

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Section 2.  Title 42 is amended by adding a section to read:

§ 9720.4.  Sentencing for offenses committed in association with a criminal gang.

(a)  Sentencing enhancement.--In addition to any minimum term of imprisonment authorized or established by law for the offense, the Pennsylvania Commission on Sentencing, in accordance with section 2154 (relating to adoption of guidelines for sentencing), shall provide for a sentence enhancement within its guidelines for a crime of violence, as defined in section 9714(g) (relating to sentences for second and subsequent offenses) or a violation of section 13(a)(30) of the act of April 14, 1972 (P.L.233, No.64), known as The Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act, if the offense was knowingly committed at the direction of or for the purpose of benefiting, promoting or furthering the interests of a criminal gang.

(b)  Definition.--As used in this section, the term "criminal gang" has the meaning given in 18 Pa.C.S. § 5131(e) (relating to recruiting criminal gang members).

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Section 3.  This act shall take effect in 60 days.

 

APPROVED--The 25th day of October, A.D. 2012.

 

TOM CORBETT