RICO Act Violations
Passed in 1970, the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, also known as RICO, was created in order to prosecuted organized crime members. Today, among its many purposes, RICO is used to prosecute organized crime members who deal drugs and commit drug crimes. For individuals who are accused of violating various RICO related laws, it often proves beneficial to obtain the services of experienced legal counsel. Individuals facing RICO related crimes often benefit from understanding some of the various element surrounding this complicated aspect of criminal law.
When RICO Comes Into Effect For Drug Crimes
There are thirty five federal offenses covered by RICO and if an individual commits at least two of these offenses within a ten year period then RICO is applicable.
Some of the drug related crimes covered by RICO include bribery, counterfeiting, drug trafficking, extortion, embezzlement, and fraud.
In order for federal law enforcement to charge an individual with a RICO violation, the individual must meet several additional requirements including: there must be the presence of a criminal enterprise, the criminal enterprise must be designed to create illegal revenue, and there must be a pattern of criminal activity.
Punishments Faced By Individuals Who Commit RICO Drug Crimes
Individuals who violate RICO can face many years in a federal prison, substantial fines, and a variety of other negative consequences. When individuals are convicted of RICO charges, these individuals face a maximum penalty of up to twenty years in prison for each offense in addition to fines of up to $25,000. If RICO related crimes resulted in financial damages to others, guilty individual can also face civil lawsuits for these damages.
Defending Against RICO Charges
RICO provides law enforcement with a powerful way to prosecute individuals who have violated the appropriate offenses. There are several defense strategies, however, that individuals use to defend against RICO charges which include the following:
- Illegal Search And Seizure. If law enforcement does not follow the existing law requiring warrant requirements then an individual can argue that an improper search and seizure was performed by law enforcement.
- Lack Of Evidence. If an individual can demonstrate that prosecution lacks a sufficient amount of evidence to satisfy a burden of proof then a defendant cannot be held criminally liable for a RICO violation.
- Lack Of The Required State Of Mind. Individuals who face RICO charges can argue that the individuals lacked the required state of mind including the lack of criminal intent to commit the crime in question.
- Unrelated Criminal Activities. If an individual can demonstrate that an offense does not relate to organized criminal activity then an individual will likely to be able to successfully defend against a RICO charge.
How An Experienced Alabama Criminal Defense Lawyer Can Help
RICO is an extremely complicated body of law which can result in particularly severe punishments. Individuals who face RICO violations require the skill and experience of gifted legal counsel. Contact Eversole Law Offices, where our attorneys zealously protect the legal rights of clients by providing strong representation and insightful strategies.