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Understanding State and Federal Racketeering Laws

October 27th, 2017 at 1:29 pm

criminal charges, federal racketeering laws, racketeering, Rolling Meadows criminal law attorney, RICO offenseIf you or a family member is facing criminal charges of racketeering, take action now and retain the services of an experienced racketeering defense attorney. Racketeering is a very serious crime that, upon conviction, can have life-altering consequences.

If convicted, you will be ordered to spend years in prison, pay substantial sums of money in fines, have mandatory probation, lose your constitutional rights (e.g., ability to vote), lose your personal assets, and you will be ordered to provide financial restitution to any victims.

Overview of Racketeering

Racketeering is typically used as shorthand to describe the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (“RICO”). Congress enacted this law in 1970. It is typically used in instances of alleged organized crime where businesses, known as “rackets,” utilize legitimate organizations for the purpose of embezzling funds. Though, this federal law covers a wide array of crimes, more than 25 to be exact.

Examples include:

  • Producing counterfeit consumer goods;
  • Bank fraud;
  • Laundering money;
  • Bribing an athlete or other individual participating in a sporting event; and
  • Tampering with a witness in a criminal case.

In Illinois, if convicted of a crime where the RICO Act was implicated, you could face between one and 20 years in prison, along with being ordered to pay up to $250,000 in fines. The extent of the penalties is typically influenced by your previous convictions, if any, the scope of the racket and amount of money stolen or laundered, the amount of attention the case received from the press, and any other circumstances that may have a bearing on the case.

Defenses That Can Be Used to Combat a Racketeering Charge

If you are charged with a RICO offense, do not assume that the government will obtain a conviction. The standard the prosecution must meet in order to convict you is “beyond a reasonable doubt.” Basically, beyond a reasonable means that the prosecutor must present such compelling evidence that there is no other reasonable explanation that can be derived from the specific facts of your case other than you are guilty of the crime. The threshold is this high because there is a presumption of innocence when someone is charged with a crime.

Your Rolling Meadows racketeering defense attorney needs to work diligently to build your case and raise some, or call, of the following defenses:

  • Having evidence excluded if it was illegally obtained by police (also known as fruit of the poisonous tree doctrine);
  • Introducing evidence that you had no knowledge of the illegal racket
  • Raising reasonable doubt of your guilt

Speak to a Rolling Meadows Racketeering Defense Lawyer Today

As you can see, racketeering charges are quite serious and necessitate having top-notch legal representation. That is why you need to contact a passionate Rolling Meadows criminal law attorney at the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley. Let us help you throughout each step of your case.

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?DocName=072000050HArt%2E+33G&ActID=1876&ChapterID=53&SeqStart=90000000&SeqEnd=91000000

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