Tampa Racketeering/RICO Charges Attorney
Historically, heads of criminal organizations could force their subordinates in the same organization to commit criminal offenses, such as theft or violent crimes. Due to a loophole in the law, these head figures would never face criminal charges because they did not actually commit a crime. Those who were in the lower ranks and committed the crimes were the only ones who would face legal repercussions.
Today, this is no longer the case. The legal loophole for figureheads was changed, so anyone within a criminal organization can face criminal charges. While the change in the law was well-intentioned, it has also led to many innocent people being charged. If you have been accused, it is critical that you obtain legal advice. Our Tampa racketeering/RICO charges attorney can provide it while protecting your freedom.
What are RICO Charges?
The term “RICO” refers to the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act. This law was passed in 1970 and it was intended to provide a direct response to the mafia specifically, as well as the criminal offenses the organization regularly participated in. Today, RICO still applies to criminal organizations, but it also targets legal enterprises that engage in illegal activity.
Common RICO Offenses
For a RICO charge to apply, a pattern of racketeering in connection with a certain enterprise or organization must have occurred. Under the law, a pattern of racketeering is defined as the commission of two RICO offenses within a period of ten years. Under the Act, there are many different RICO offenses but some are more common than others. These include:
- Drug dealing
- Transport of stolen goods
- Obstruction of justice
- Money laundering
Facing charges for any of the above offenses is always frightening. However, that does not mean the situation is hopeless. There are legal defenses available that can protect your freedom. Federal prosecutors must also prove several elements of their case beyond a reasonable doubt in order to secure a conviction. Challenging these elements can also weaken the prosecution’s case and help you retain your freedom.
Elements of a RICO Case
In any RICO case, there are five elements the prosecution must establish. These are as follows:
- A legal or illegal enterprise existed,
- The defendant was directly connected to the enterprise,
- The defendant was willingly and knowingly engaged in the enterprise,
- The enterprise participated in interstate commerce, and
- The defendant was involved in a conspiracy with one or more people and they agreed to engage in additional RICO acts for the benefit of the enterprise.
Our Racketeering/RICO Charges Attorney Can Help with Your Charges
RICO cases are some of the most complex, and a conviction carries harsh penalties. At OA Law Firm, our racketeering/RICO charges attorney knows the strongest defenses to use in these cases that will give you the best chance of retaining your freedom. Call us now or connect with us online to schedule a consultation and to learn more about how we can help with your case.