The RICO Act, Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organization (RICO) can be brought against individuals who have been involved in a pattern of corruption as part of an organization or a gang. Some of the most famous RICO cases include the Gambino Crime Family, Los Angeles Police Department, Major League Baseball, and Hell’s Angels Motorcycle Club.
In 1970, President Richard Nixon signed the RICO Act as a means to stamp out organized crime. Unfortunately, criminals were winning the decades-long state and federal corruption battle. Only a law like RICO could provide prosecutors the power and resources to investigate and indict certain groups, individuals, and corporations.
A partial list of State and Federal racketeering crimes listed under the RICO Act:
If you live in New Jersey and face RICO Act charges, expect aggressive federal prosecution. New Jersey, in particular, has a long history of prosecuting RICO-related charges. And wide latitude is given. Not all individuals who face RICO charges are involved in massive operations. There are times when there may be only one or two people involved in crimes. However, if you are found to have violated at least 2 charges listed under RICO, you can be charged.
The best way to face RICO Act charges is to find an experienced attorney to protect your rights. Federal and state RICO charges are extremely harsh and the consequences can be devastating. This is especially the case if you have prior charges. A skilled attorney with years of experience knows how to battle RICO charges. Many such attorneys are former prosecutors who know every aspect of RICO case law and what they can do to protect the freedom of the client.
RICO convictions can net up to 20 years in prison and fines up to $250,000. In some cases, individuals convicted under the RICO statutes can lose property, and in more serious cases, face life in prison. If you are indicted under RICO, only a seasoned attorney can help you understand the seriousness of the charges and what you potentially face. Federal and state time is different. If you convicted on a federal level, you will be forced to serve 85% of your sentence.
Many people wonder why RICO racketeering charges are so harsh. Many legal scholars and defense attorneys have been highly critical of RICO charges. The main argument is that the government is given too much power when it comes to seizing assets. This can often lead to the defendant not having enough assets or funds to retain effective counsel. In such cases, defendants are often forced to take plea deals.
Many interested parties are attempting to get the RICO Act laws changed in the interest of fairness. Many lives have been destroyed under the RICO Act. Businesses have been left bankrupt and families penniless due to the harsh laws. Needless to say, defendants facing RICO charges have a great deal to lose.
The key is retaining the proper representation. New Jersey has a number of excellent defense attorneys who are more than qualified and willing to push back against the government. While some individuals and organizations have been rightfully charged and appropriately sentenced under the RICO guidelines, there are many others who have had their rights trampled upon.
A skilled attorney will guide you through every aspect of your case. They will use their considerable skills to question and poke holes in the prosecution’s case. Everything will be challenged. While every case is unique, there are many aspects of the case that can be exposed. People make mistakes. And a good defense attorney will go over everything with a fine-toothed comb to ensure fairness.
Unfortunately, defense attorneys cannot simply rely upon the words and deeds of a prosecutor. There have been cases of overzealous prosecutors relying upon faulty evidence, poor police training, and even falsified evidence. A good defense attorney will flush out all improprieties to get the best outcome for their client.
If you are facing RICO charges, talk with a racketeering defense attorney about your case. They possess the professional insight to understand how to fight the charges. Let someone who understands the system get you the justice you deserve.