Urbana RICO and Enterprise Corruption Lawyer
Fifty years ago, the heads of criminal organizations could order those in the lower ranks to commit crimes, such as theft or physical violence, and never face repercussions. The law included a loophole that allowed the head figures of criminal organizations to avoid criminal prosecution because they did not technically commit a crime. Today, that is no longer the case. The law was changed to close the legal loophole so now, any member of the organization can be criminally charged.
Although the law now holds everyone responsible for their actions, it also sometimes targets innocent people. If you have been charged, our Urbana RICO and enterprise corruption lawyer can help you retain your freedom.
What Is RICO?
RICO is the short form for the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act. The Act was passed in 1970, and it was originally a direct response to the mafia and the criminal activity the organization regularly engaged in. Today, RICO is still used against corrupt organizations, but it is also used to target legal enterprises that engage in unlawful activities.
Crimes Covered Under RICO
For RICO to apply, a person must have engaged in a pattern of racketeering that is connected to a certain organization or enterprise. A pattern under the law is defined as committing two RICO offenses within a ten-year timeframe. There are 35 offenses listed within RICO, but the most common of these are as follows:
- Drug dealing
- Transport of stolen goods
- Money laundering
- Obstruction of justice
Being charged with any of the above offenses is always scary, but that does not mean the situation is hopeless. There are defenses available, and before the prosecution can secure a conviction, they must prove several elements of their case.
Proving a RICO Case
There are five elements of any RICO case the prosecution must prove. These include:
- An enterprise existed, regardless of whether it was a lawful or unlawful enterprise
- The defendant had a direct connection to the enterprise
- The accused was knowingly and willingly engaged in the enterprise
- The enterprise took part in interstate commerce
- The defendant conspired with one or more people and agreed to engage in additional RICO acts to benefit the enterprise
An Urbana RICO lawyer will challenge the above elements of the prosecution’s case, which is often enough to help defendants beat their charges.
Call Our RICO and Enterprise Corruption Lawyer in Urbana Today
RICO charges are extremely serious and if convicted, you can face some of the harshest penalties. At Patel Law, PC, our skilled Urbana RICO and enterprise corruption lawyer will work tirelessly to help ensure that does not happen. Our lawyer knows how to challenge the arguments and evidence of the prosecution to give you the best chance of retaining your freedom. Call us today at 217.384.1111 or reach out to us online to schedule a free consultation with our knowledgeable attorney and obtain the sound legal advice you need.