Extra prison time for being in a "gang."

The Cuyahoga County Court of Appeals recently issued a decision about what is known as a "criminal gang specification" - an addition to almost any indictment which, if proven at trial, requires, pursuant to RC 2929.14(G),  a defendant to receive extra time in prison (the court has a choice of 1, 2 or 3 years - which has to be served before any other portion of the prison sentence).  The definition of a criminal gang is: "as a formal or informal group of three or more persons to which all of the following apply: (1) one of the group’s primary purposes is the commission of one or more offenses designated in the section, which includes, among others, a felony, an offense of violence, and trafficking in marijuana; (2) the group has “a common name or one or more common, identifying signs, symbols, or colors”; and (3) the persons in the group “individually or collectively engage in or have engaged in a pattern of criminal activity.” R.C. 2923.41(A)(1)-(3)."

So, if you are running with a bunch of fellas who like to commit crimes, you need to know that the mere affiliation with the gang can get you extra time in prison.    Sounds simple, but don't name your group or use symbols and colors - whatever you do.