Daytona Beach RICO & Enterprise Corruption Lawyer
The basic principle of criminal law in the US and Florida is that you do the time if you commit the crime. However, it became obvious to lawmakers in the early and mid-1900s that apprehending lower-tier participants in an illegal scheme did little to counter large-scale criminal enterprises and corruption schemes. Congress enacted legislation in 1970 to address this issue, and Florida legislators followed shortly thereafter with its own version of the Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organizations (RICO) act. The point is to fight organized crime by defining unlawful acts committed by individuals higher up on the ladder, even when they were not directly involved.
With these attempts to cast a wider net and hold conspirators criminally liable, legislators created an expansive definition of what constitutes a violation of the law. You could be arrested or indicted under circumstances you did not expect, so retaining a skilled Daytona Beach RICO & enterprise corruption lawyer is essential. Please contact the O’Mara Law Group to schedule a consultation, and take time to review some important information.
Synopsis of RICO and Corruption Laws
While they do not define “racketeering,” the statutes prohibit actions which amount to an organized scheme of multiple offenses over a period of time. It is against the law to be employed by or associate with an enterprise that engages in a pattern of criminal conduct OR collection of an illegal debt. Some additional points are notable:
- Anti-racketeering laws cover such crimes as human trafficking, drug trafficking, and illegal firearms transactions.
- A person violates RICO by investing or using the proceeds of a racket enterprise, as well as through direct or indirect participation in the criminal activity.
- To be arrested for a federal offense, the racketeering scheme must have an impact on interstate commerce.
- A violation of Florida’s RICO is a First Degree Felony, punishable by up to 30 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
Keep in mind that state law also carries a civil law component, in which the plaintiff can seek monetary damages for the harm done through a corruption scheme. Either the government or a private plaintiff can sue to obtain more than three times the amount of financial loss.
Options for Fighting Racketeering Charges
As with other criminal cases, the prosecution must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt with respect to every element of a corruption case. This heavy burden is an advantage to the defendant, who will have the opportunity to identify and exploit weak evidence. If the prosecutor does not establish an ongoing pattern of corruption that was directly related to the racketeering plot, the charges might be dismissed. Our Daytona Beach RICO lawyers at the O’Mara Law Group will pursue all defense strategies, including the possibility of plea bargaining to resolve the charges.
Contact a Daytona Beach RICO & Enterprise Corruption Attorney for Details
If you were arrested or believe you are being investigated for organized crime, please contact the O’Mara Law Group at 407-634-6604 or via our website. We can set up a consultation with an experienced Florida defense lawyer who can explain the complicated laws and strategies for fighting RICO charges.