Charlotte Racketeering Defense Lawyers
Helping Clients Navigate RICO Charges
The Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, or RICO, is
a federal statute ratified in 1970 that sought to criminalize corruption.
Though it was originally instituted to battle organized crime, the law
gives federal prosecutors wide-reaching abilities to harshly pursue and
punish individuals and organizations in both civil and criminal matters.
In modern times, RICO charges are often filed against those accused of
running drug-based enterprises, street gangs, and even compromised government
departments, including politicians and law enforcement.
North Carolina also has its own set of racketeering laws. Their scope is
similarly broad, with the state having the ability to bring charges against
for-profit schemes enabling many types of crimes.
Whether you face state or federal charges, racketeering accusations can
quickly upend your life and lead to a costly legal battle. Government
agencies tend to aggressively prosecute racketeering cases, necessitating
the need for experienced legal representation.
Our Charlotte racketeering defense lawyers at Oakhurst Legal Group are
prepared to mount the vigorous defense you will need. We can evaluate the facts of the situation and the evidence the prosecution
plans to exploit before building a case that works to exonerate your involvement
in any of the alleged offenses.
Schedule a free consultation to see how we can help you fight racketeering
(704) 288-1003 or
contact us online today.
Laws Surrounding Federal RICO Charges
It is important to understand that RICO is an extremely complex and at
times overwhelming statute. You should not attempt to navigate RICO charges alone.
To violate the RICO statute, you will need to have engaged in repeated
acts defined as racketeering in connection with some sort of enterprise. Specifically, for a RICO charge to succeed, the defendant will need to
have committed a minimum of 2 crimes through the enterprise within the
past 10 years.
Criminal offenses that fall under the umbrella of racketeering for the
purposes of RICO include:
- Drug trafficking
- Illegal gambling
- Mail fraud
- Wire fraud
Committing these offenses independently cannot contribute to RICO charges.
The racketeering crimes must be committed in connection with a criminal
Common examples of criminal enterprises include:
- Street gangs
- Drug cartel
- Crime family
- Political party
You can face both criminal RICO charges and civil RICO charges. Criminal charges are pursued by the federal government. If convicted,
offenders could face up to 20 years in prison for each charge in addition
to substantial financial penalties, including restitution to victims.
Civil charges can be brought by anyone who has been injured by what they
believe to be a RICO violation, so long as a suit meets several eligibility
requirements. These criteria was introduced in the 1990s in an effort to curb an excessive
number of frivolous civil RICO suits being filed.
To successfully file a RICO civil suit, the claimant must prove:
Criminal offenses take place. There must be ample evidence that at least one racketeering crime took
place. Courts tend to heavily scrutinize accusations of fraud.
A pattern of criminal behavior exists. Like in criminal RICO cases, at least two racketeering crimes must have
been committed. They must also either be continuous, having been conducted
over a period of a year or more, or related in some material way.
The criminal behavior took place within the statute of limitations. An alleged victim has 4 years from the date they discovered their injuries
to file a RICO claim.
Our Charlotte racketeering defense attorneys are prepared to defend you
from criminal and civil RICO charges. We understand the intricacies of
RICO law and can aggressively fight to prove your innocence, avoiding
significant fines and jailtime.