White Collar Crimes: Racketeering (RICO)
Miami Racketeering (RICO) Criminal Defense Lawyers
Racketeering (RICO) offense can be charged in state and federal court. Federal RICO prosecutions provide for extensive criminal penalties and fines. The federal RICO statute was enacted as part of the Organized Crime Control Act of 1970. The original use of the statute was to prosecute members of the Mafia, but government prosecutors have made widespread use of the act to prosecute federal cases. To successfully prosecute a defendant under the RICO statute, government prosecutors must prove that a defendant was part of a criminal enterprise and committed two criminal predicate acts over a ten year period. If found guilty of a federal RICO charge, a defendant is facing 20 years in prison and a $25,000 fine for each racketeering count. Some of RICO predicate acts include murder, kidnapping extortion, arson robbery, bribery, theft embezzlement, money laundering, drug trafficking and securities fraud.
The State of Florida has its own racketeering (RICO) act. Under the state statute, racketeering activity means to commit, attempt to commit, solicit or coerce another person to commit any offense or enumerated activity set forth in the Florida statutes or defined as racketeering activity under the Federal RICO statute. To be charged with a RICO violation, the prosecution must prove that the defendant engaged in a pattern of racketeering activity which is defined as engaging in two or more incidents of racketeering conduct (enumerated offenses). The incidents must have occurred within five years of each other. Under Florida law, racketeering is a first degree felony punishable up to thirty years in prison. In addition to criminal charges, a civil forfeiture action may be brought against a defendant in an effort to take real or personal property allegedly obtained from the racketeering activity.
The Miami criminal lawyers at DMT have represented dozens of clients charged with racketeering and RICO crimes. If you are under investigation or have been arrested for racketeering in Florida, it is imperative that you immediately seek the assistance of a Miami racketeering defense lawyer to represent your interests. Racketeering charges arise when a group of individuals act together in an organized crime syndicate. The legislators original intent was to investigate and prosecute criminal organizations involved in racketeering with the RICO act. Although RICO was initially created to prosecute traditional organized crime families, federal prosecutors use the RICO statutes in the prosecution in a wide variety of cases. Examples of cases prosecuted under RICO include the following:
The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act (RICO) provides federal and state prosecutors another tool to prosecute cases. RICO allows prosecutors to take lesser unrelated crimes and turn them into a far more serious charge. Individuals that have been charged or indicted in a Miami racketeering case under RICO are accused of acting as part of an illegal criminal enterprise. RICO cases are highly complex and are prosecuted by the most experienced state or federal government attorneys. Due to the complexity of the cases and potential sentences that attach, it is essential that you speak with a criminal lawyer at DMT who has years of experience in defending Miami racketeering cases.
If you are under investigation for racketeering or charged with a RICO violation, contact the criminal lawyers at DMT. An experienced criminal attorney is available every day of the year, 24 hours a day to speak with you regarding your situation. You can call our office at (305) 444-00300 or reach us by completing the form on our contact page
or by sending an e-mail.