Code of the District of Columbia

§ 22–951. Criminal street gangs.

(a)(1) It is unlawful for a person to solicit, invite, recruit, encourage, or otherwise cause, or attempt to cause, another individual to become a member of, remain in, or actively participate in what the person knows to be a criminal street gang.

(2) A person convicted of a violation of this subsection shall be fined not more than the amount set forth in § 22-3571.01 or imprisoned for not more than 6 months, or both.

(b)(1) It is unlawful for any person who is a member of or actively participates in a criminal street gang to knowingly and willfully participate in any felony or violent misdemeanor committed for the benefit of, at the direction of, or in association with any other member or participant of that criminal street gang.

(2) A person convicted of a violation of this subsection shall be fined not more than the amount set forth in § 22-3571.01 or imprisoned for not more than 5 years, or both.

(c)(1) It is unlawful for a person to use or threaten to use force, coercion, or intimidation against any person or property, in order to:

(A) Cause or attempt to cause an individual to:

(i) Join a criminal street gang;

(ii) Participate in activities of a criminal street gang;

(iii) Remain as a member of a criminal street gang; or

(iv) Submit to a demand made by a criminal street gang to commit a felony in violation of the laws of the District of Columbia, the United States, or any other state; or

(B) Retaliate against an individual for a refusal to:

(i) Join a criminal street gang;

(ii) Participate in activities of a criminal street gang;

(iii) Remain as a member of a criminal street gang; or

(iv) Submit to a demand made by a criminal street gang to commit a felony in violation of the laws of the District of Columbia, the United States, or any other state.

(2) A person convicted of a violation of this subsection shall be fined not more than the amount set forth in § 22-3571.01 or imprisoned for not more than 10 years, or both.

(d) The penalties under this section are in addition to any other penalties permitted by law.

(e) For the purposes of this section, the term:

(1) “Criminal street gang” means an association or group of 6 or more persons that:

(A) Has as a condition of membership or continued membership, the committing of or actively participating in committing a crime of violence, as defined by § 23-1331(4)); or

(B) Has as one of its purposes or frequent activities, the violation of the criminal laws of the District, or the United States, except for acts of civil disobedience.

(2) “Violent misdemeanor” shall mean:

(A) Destruction of property (§ 22-303);

(B) Simple assault (§ 22-404(a));

(C) Stalking (§ 22-404(b) [see now § 22-3132]);

(D) Threats to do bodily harm (§ 22-407);

(E) Criminal abuse or criminal neglect of a vulnerable adult (§ 22-936(a));

(F) Cruelty to animals (§ 22-1001(a)); and

(G) Possession of prohibited weapon (§ 22-4514).


(Apr. 24, 2007, D.C. Law 16-306, § 101, 53 DCR 8610; June 11, 2013, D.C. Law 19-317, § 206(a), 60 DCR 2064.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 22-811.

Effect of Amendments

The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 19-317 substituted “not more than the amount set forth in § 22-3571.01” for “not more than $1,000” in (a)(2), for “not more than $5,000” in (b)(2), and for “not more than $10,000” in (c)(2).

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) addition, see § 101 of Omnibus Public Safety Emergency Amendment Act of 2006 (D.C. Act 16-445, July 19, 2006, 53 DCR 6443).

For temporary (90 day) addition, see § 101 of Omnibus Public Safety Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2006 (D.C. Act 16-490, October 18, 2006, 53 DCR 8686).

For temporary (90 day) addition, see § 101 of Omnibus Public Safety Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2007 (D.C. Act 17-10, January 16, 2007, 54 DCR 1479).

For temporary (90 day) addition, see § 101 of Omnibus Public Safety Second Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2007 (D.C. Act 17-25, April 19, 2007, 54 DCR 4036).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 206(a) of the Criminal Fine Proportionality Emergency Act of 2013 (D.C. Act 20-45, April 1, 2013, 60 DCR 5400, 20 DCSTAT 1300).

Editor's Notes

Applicability of D.C. Law 19-317: Section 401 of D.C. Law 19-317 provided that the act shall apply only to offenses committed on or after June 11, 2013.