TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- An appeals court says a Florida law banning gangs from using "electronic communication" to intimidate others or advertise their presence is unconstitutional.
The Tallahassee-based court said the electronic communications ban violates free speech rights because it applies even to messages concerning non-criminal gang activities.
A three-judge panel of the 1st District Court of Appeal on Friday, though, upheld another law banning gangs from recruiting new members if they must commit crimes to join.
The recruitment law passed muster because it applies only if criminal activity is a condition of membership. The communication law lacks that limitation.
The unanimous opinion upheld Naymontie Nashare Enoch's conviction and three-year prison sentence for violating the recruitment law in Alachua County.
It reversed his conviction and probation sentence under the communication statute.