The Racketeer Influence and Corrupt Organizations Act, or RICO law, refers to the prosecution and defense of those who engage in organized crime. In the early 70’s, Congress passed the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act in an effort to combat the Mafia. Since then, RICO law has been broadened and used to attack a variety of criminal organizations. RICO law establishes severe consequences for those who engage in a pattern of wrongdoing as a part of a criminal operation
Penalties in Criminal Court
The RICO Act provides both civil and criminal penalties. This means claims can be brought by prosecutors on behalf of private individuals or the United States government. In criminal cases, the jury must be convinced of the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Violations are punishable by up to 20 years in prison or life in prison if authorized by the underlying crime.
As a tool for disassembling criminal enterprises, following a conviction, the U.S. Government is automatically given a forfeiture of all of the defendant’s interest in their former organization. This means defendants lose all their property and money that can be traced back to the illegal conduct. The rules of procedure in a RICO prosecution allow the government to freeze the defendant’s assets before the case even goes to trial.
With these “grey areas” not clearly communicated in the law, it is common for an individual to become victim of a swift, fortuitous move by hasty law enforcement. Too often, the innocent are victimized.
The Importance of Legal Representation
Whether you are interested in filing a claim against a criminal enterprise, or need help defending a case brought against you, you will need experienced legal representation. A skilled attorney will use the complex provisions of the RICO Act to your benefit. To learn more, contact a RICO lawyer today.
Call us at (352) 292-1620 or contact our Tavares medical malpractice lawyers to schedule a free consultation with an experienced attorney. We will handle all of the upfront costs to litigate your claim and will not charge a fee unless we recover compensation on your behalf.