Los Angeles Racketeering Lawyer
The crime of racketeering made its debut in 1970 when the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act (RICO) was established. RICO laws were introduced to legislation as a means to reduce the number of organized crime related offenses that were occurring at the time. Used to battle white collar crimes, RICO made it possible for prosecutors to charge businesses, corporations, companies, government officials, business people and other individuals and groups with certain types of crimes that they did not personally commit. For instance, a corporate CEO could be charged and convicted of a white collar crime that involved some illegal procedures going on under his watch even though he or she may not have actually violated any laws personally.
Basically, California racketeering laws are designed to punish enterprises that commit crimes for financial gain. Most often these activities include criminal activity like embezzlement, drug distribution, money laundering, murder, and more. To prove a charge of racketeering, a prosecutor must show a “pattern of criminal profiteering activity” which must include at least two criminal events that are not isolated incidents. The purpose of state and Federal racketeering laws is to eliminate or weaken ownership or control of these criminal enterprises and break the ties that hold an organization together through the criminal activities performed there.
Penalties and Sentences for Racketeering in California
Since the goal of racketeering laws is to stop the criminal activity in which these groups are committing crimes for financial profit, California state law seeks to deter participants from racketeering by punishment through the state’s forfeiture laws. During forfeiture, the state of California seizes possession and control of the accused’s property at the outset of an investigation, and then, depending upon the circumstances, may also pursue charges for the underlying crimes. Therefore, not only do racketeers risk the loss of their business but jail time, fines, restitution, loss of certain Constitutional rights, probation, parole, house arrest, counseling and other punishments as appropriate for the crimes that led to the racketeering charge in the first place.
Sentencing of those convicted of racketeering depends upon a number of factors that include:
- Previous criminal record
- Probation or parole record
- The community’s attitude toward racketeering
- The amount of media attention that the incident has incurred
Defenses to a Racketeering Charge
RICO and California state law gives a tremendous amount of power to the government over the fate of those accused of racketeering. Extremely complex, a racketeering case can include a large number of criminal activities and a lot of individuals and groups within the same case. Consequently, to defend a racketeering charge, it is critical that defendants make sure that legal representation is sought immediately when an allegation of racketeering has been made against them or their business.
Because of the complicated legal process for the prosecution of racketeering charges, it is vital that accused parties and individuals seek assistance from an experienced experienced criminal defense lawyer who has the ability and stamina to vigorously build a strong defense and the connections to negotiate with prosecutors to pursue a lesser charge or a lesser penalty for clients.
If you have been accused or charged with racketeering, don’t risk your liberty or your rights. Contact an experience racketeering criminal defense attorney today. R.J. Manuelian has the talent and experience you want on your side of a racketeering arrest or trial. Contact him immediately for a free consultation.