Tampa Racketeering Attorney
To racketeer is to create a solution, and seek financial compensation for providing that solution, to a problem that would not exist if not for the sole reason of being part of that racketeering scheme. In 1970 the United States passed the Federal Racketeer Influenced and Corruption Act (RICO Act). The intent of this legislative act was to give the government the means in which to go after the mafia. As the Wall Street Journal explains, “The law allows federal prosecutors to stitch together crimes going back many years, from extortion and loan sharking to murder, in a single case. It is easier for them to convict mob defendants when they wrap in evidence of the broader context in which the crime was committed.” In addition, it allowed the prosecutors to go after the mob bosses who may not have murdered themselves, but directed others to do so to protect their family affairs.
Racketeering is a serious federal crime, but Florida also has its own RICO Act as well. According to Florida statutes, racketeering means “to commit, to attempt to commit, to conspire to commit, or to solicit, coerce, or intimidate another person to commit a crime.” The statutes then continue to list 49 crimes that constitute racketeering, such as forgery, fighting and baiting animals, and homicide.
In more recent years, racketeering charges have been brought against businesses in civil courts. As the Florida Bar Journal notes, it has been an appealing route for plaintiffs to take because if the court rules in their favor, they can recover triple the damages. However, under the RICO Act the plaintiff must establish that there exist two related criminal acts within the past 10 years (for the federal RICO Act to apply) or within the past five years (for the Florida RICO Act to apply). For a person charged with racketeering, it is crucial to hire an attorney who understands how to challenge these accusations.
Even if a relationship exists between two or more criminal acts, a defense lawyer can still fight the case on the grounds of continuity. If the acts are too close together, the case may be dismissed because the pattern of criminal activity is too weak. If you have been charged with racketeering, you may be facing up to 30 years in prison, even if you were not fully aware of the serious implications of your businesses. The federal government and the state go after racketeers with sometimes unparalleled gumption, which is why it is imperative to you and your family that you hire a legal team to match.
Our Tampa racketeering defense attorneys will help clear your name of any misdoings or negotiate to lower your sentence. Contact us today at 877-767-1032 to speak with one of our Tampa racketeering attorneys at the offices of Roman & Roman as soon as possible. We will want to begin working on your case as quickly as we can to gather evidence and ensure that we are prepared for the prosecution’s case against you.