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Juror who prompted calls for new Ghislaine Maxwell trial turns to lawyer who defended Anna Sorokin.
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Last Updated on: 21st October 2023, 08:48 am
If you’ve been accused of racketeering or other organized crime offenses, you need an experienced defense attorney on your side. RICO charges carry serious penalties and require specialized legal knowledge to fight effectively. Here’s an overview of RICO laws and why hiring a top lawyer is critical.
RICO stands for the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, a federal law passed in 1970 to combat organized crime. RICO laws provide prosecutors powerful tools to go after criminal enterprises like the mafia.
Under RICO, it’s a crime to engage in a “pattern of racketeering activity” connected to an enterprise. This includes many types of offenses like bribery, money laundering, murder, kidnapping, and fraud.
RICO also makes it illegal to “conspire” to violate the law, even if you don’t actually commit a crime yourself. So you can face charges just for planning or agreeing to participate in criminal activity with others.
RICO charges carry much stiffer punishments than normal. If convicted, you could face:
Prosecutors can stack multiple RICO counts too, so you could easily be facing decades behind bars. RICO also contains provisions for the death penalty in certain murder cases.
In addition to jail time, the government can seize property like homes, businesses, vehicles, and bank accounts linked to your alleged crimes. You don’t even have to be convicted for the forfeiture to go through in some cases.
Given the severe consequences, mounting a strong RICO defense is critical. Here’s why you need an experienced organized crime lawyer on your side:
One major challenge is that prosecutors don’t need to prove you committed crime after crime. They only have to show two predicate acts within 10 years that demonstrate a “pattern” of illegal activity. Your lawyer needs to carefully scrutinize the alleged acts to see if there’s really a pattern or just isolated incidents.
Prosecutors often rely on informants or co-conspirators looking to save themselves by testifying against you. An adept lawyer can undermine their credibility by exposing inconsistencies or motives to lie.
RICO laws are complex with many nuances. An experienced attorney can leverage RICO’s intricacies to get charges dismissed on procedural or jurisdictional grounds before trial.
Your lawyer may be able to prevent the government from seizing assets not directly linked to criminal acts. And even if assets are forfeited, skilled negotiation may secure your future interest in them.
If convicted, an attorney experienced in RICO sentencings can advocate for less jail time and fines. This includes presenting evidence about your minimal role in the enterprise or otherwise showing you’re not a danger to society.
Here are some key strategies an experienced RICO defense lawyer may use:
Your lawyer can argue the alleged criminal acts were isolated events, not part of an ongoing organized enterprise. Without an enterprise, there is no RICO charge.
If others committed crimes without your knowledge or participation, you may be able to show you weren’t really part of the conspiracy.
If the investigation involved illegal wiretaps, improper surveillance, or other government misconduct, the case could get tossed out.
Federal RICO charges must be brought within 5 years of the alleged criminal activity. If prosecution missed the deadline, the charges can be dismissed.
Given RICO’s broad scope, prosecutors have incentive to apply it creatively to all kinds of criminal activity. You need an attorney well-versed in RICO’s intricacies to combat those efforts effectively.
More importantly, you need a lawyer experienced specifically in organized crime cases. RICO matters involve special strategies and defense knowledge you won’t find in other practice areas.
Look for an attorney who has successfully defended major RICO indictments before. Their proven track record can give you confidence they have the skills to protect your rights and freedom.
The stakes are high when facing RICO charges, but our attorneys have the experience to build an aggressive defense on your behalf. If you or a loved one have been indicted, contact us for a free case review. We’re here 24/7 to take your call and discuss your best legal options.
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