Are you here because you want to know the answer to the question “What are RICO charges” ? You are in the right place. Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, more commonly referred to as RICO, is a federal law that was enacted in 1970. The law is aimed at combating organized crime in the United States.
RICO charges are brought against individuals or organizations who engage in certain criminal activities listed in the statute. If you are facing federal criminal charges, it is important to understand what those charges are and what they mean for you.
In this comprehensive guide, we will discuss all aspects of RICO charges and what you can expect if you are convicted.
How does the Government Prove a RICO Charge?
In order to convict an individual or organization of a RICO charge, the government must prove that they have committed what is known as a “predicate act.” A predicate act is defined as any one of a number of criminal acts that are enumerated in the RICO statute. These include crimes such as murder, kidnapping, extortion, and racketeering.
The government will often use evidence from past convictions, wiretaps, and surveillance footage to establish a pattern of criminal activity by the defendant. It is important to note that simply being associated with a criminal organization is not enough to bring a RICO charge; the defendant must have personally engaged in criminal activity.
What are Common Defenses to RICO Charges?
If you are facing RICO charges, it is important to know that there are defenses available. One common defense is that the defendant was not personally involved in the criminal activity. This can be difficult to prove, but if the government does not have direct evidence linking the defendant to the crime, it may be possible to win at trial.
Another defense is that the defendant did not know about the criminal activity or did not approve of it. Each crime requires a certain mental state to be convicted.
This can be difficult to prove as well, but if the defendant can show that he or she was unaware of what was going on, it may be possible to avoid a conviction.
What Punishment Will You get for a RICO Charge?
If you are convicted of a RICO charge, you will face harsh penalties. The maximum sentence for a RICO conviction is 20 years in prison, and the court can also impose significant fines. In addition, the court can order the forfeiture of any property or assets that were obtained through illegal activity.
A RICO conviction will also have a lasting impact on your life after you are released from prison. It can impact your ability to gain employment as well as problems with obtaining loans and credit.
Contact our Experienced Federal Criminal Lawyer Today
Seddiq Law Firm has two experienced Federal Criminal Lawyers, Mirriam Z. Seddiq and Justin Eisele. Together they have decades of federal criminal defense experience and have handled over 400 federal criminal cases.
We offer a free consultation to anyone facing federal criminal charges. Click the link below and one of our attorneys will contact you immediately. Don’t hesitate, your future depends on it.