Are You Facing Racketeering Charges or RICO Violations in California?
Our RICO and Racketeering Criminal Lawyers Can Help in State or Federal Court.
California racketeering laws are designed to punish any organized criminal activity, including arson, drug trafficking, embezzlement, fraud, money laundering, and murder, that is carried out for an enterprise's financial gain. The objective of California State and Federal racketeering laws is to abolish or diminish these criminal organizations by severing the bonds that tie the enterprise together.
California prosecutes racketeering aggressively. Conviction can mean years in prison, thousands of dollars in fines, triple damages, and forfeiture of property and assets. If you are facing allegations of racketeering or RICO violations, we suggest you contact an expert California racketeering defense attorney with Tully & Weiss Law Firm as soon as possible.
Our criminal RICO and racketeering attorneys are proactive and aggressively demand to see the evidence against you, including witness statements, wiretaps, police reports, and physical evidence, then our lawyers and investigators scrutinize each for defects, falsehoods, and civil rights violations to construct a powerful and customized defense. We are very thorough in our review of your arrest and charges for Constitutional rights violations and police misconduct.
RICO Laws: The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act
Racketeering is a Federal crime as well as a California State crime. Established in 1970, the RICO Act was introduced to prosecute the Mafia and other active organized crime rings and is the Federal Law that governs most racketeering charges today. As part of the Organized Crime Control Act, RICO allows prosecutors to charge individuals and corporations as being responsible for crimes they did not personally commit. Business executives can now be held liable for illegal activities going on within their organization without having personally committed a crime.
18 USC 1961 to 1968: RICO Act Statutes
Codified under 18 U.S.C. §§ 1961-1968, RICO is usually applied to cases involving illegal business activities and/or the procurement or extortion of money through illegal means. Federal law defines racketeering as any act or threat involving a number of criminal activities, including (but not limited to):
- Drug Trafficking
- Felony theft
- Interfering with commerce
- Interstate transportation of stolen property
- Money laundering
This list includes only a small number of the many crimes that can be included in racketeering. A Tully & Weiss racketeering defense attorney will speak with you about whether your specific case involves racketeering or RICO violations and the details around the criminal charges that you may face.
With over 40 years in federal and state criminal defense, we are known for uncovering every minute falsity and weakness in the prosecutor's case. Police and prosecutors often cut corners, intimidate people and target the most convenient suspect for jail. In fact, that's the subject of our founder, Joseph Tully's new book – California: State of Collusion.
Hard-hitting Tully & Weiss racketeering defense lawyers turn the tables on the prosecution to get false charges reduced or dismissed altogether.
California Criminal Laws: Our Elite Defense Lawyers Help With All Charges
We are available 24/7 and can quickly meet you in jail or at your location. Start your defense on the right track from the very first step.
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Penalties for Racketeering and RICO Violations In California are Severe
Individuals or organizations charged with racketeering risk losing their business, freedom and financial stability. Sentencing is dependent on a variety of factors including prior criminal activity, the facts of the case, and even public opinion and the level of media coverage involved.
Penalties for racketeering or RICO violations may include:
- Substantial fines
- Up to 20 years in state prison per RICO violation
- Probation, parole, house arrest, counseling
- Damages of up to 3 times the amount lost by an alleged victim
- Confiscation or forfeiture of any profits gained from the illegal activities
Because the objective of California racketeering laws is to obstruct the criminal activity and any financial gain, the State enforces forfeiture laws and reserves the right to seize any property, claim, contractual right or interest of the enterprise at the start of the investigation. If the racketeering property has been sold, cannot be located, is outside the court's jurisdiction or has decreased in value, the court can order forfeiture of other property in its place.
If you have been accused of a RICO offense or charged with racketeering, your liberty and rights are in serious jeopardy. Attorney Joseph Tully, author of California: State of Collusion, meticulously constructs defenses to consistently uncover reasonable doubt from the cut-corners, falsehoods, prosecutorial or police misconduct and lying witnesses – Not Guilty in the eyes of the law.
Tully & Weiss racketeering defense attorneys work tirelessly to exclude tainted evidence, spotlight police misconduct and identify legitimate alternative fact narratives. Superficial cases unravel and justice prevails under our scrutiny and persistence.
What Defenses Will Your Criminal Lawyer Use to Fight A Racketeering Or RICO Charge?
California State law and Federal RICO laws offer the government powerful influence over those accused of racketeering. Racketeering cases are extremely complex, often involving a number of criminal offenses and many defendant individuals and/or organizations. The early intervention of an expert racketeering/RICO violations defense attorney is vital to succeeding in your defense.
In order to prove a racketeering charge, prosecution must show that the defendant's actions involved an enterprise engaging in racketeering over the last 10 years, that their victim was injured by the defendants' actions, and that there were at least two predicate acts, meaning the crimes must share common intents, methods, patterns, victims, results or other related characteristics.
To fight the charges asserted against you, a number of defense strategies will be applied by your expert racketeering defense attorney, including:
- Lack of Criminal Intent: Unless the prosecution can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a party knowingly acted with the intent to participate in criminal activities, charges of racketeering must be dismissed.
- Lack of Involvement: If the prosecution can't prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you a part of the racketeering-related organization, you cannot be convicted of racketeering.
- Illegal Search and Seizure: Invasive evidence searches and property forfeitures are often conducted in racketeering cases. If law enforcement does not follow proper warrant or consent requirements and seizes evidence illegally, we can file a motion to suppress the evidence (throw it out) – leaving the prosecution with lesser means to prove their case and obtain a guilty verdict.
- Lack of Evidence: If the racketeering defense attorney can demonstrate to the court that the prosecution lacks sufficient evidence to meet the burden of proof (they must prove by well more than 50-50), the defendant cannot be held criminally liable for racketeering.
- Unrelated Activities: A defendant may only be convicted of racketeering if the crimes involved were interrelated. If the prosecution fails to show that the activities were related, racketeering charges cannot survive.
RICO cases are challenging and complex, involving multiple defendants and endless amounts of evidence. Your chances of getting penalties reduced or charges dismissed increase substantially with an expert Tully & Weiss California racketeering defense attorney in your corner.
Our racketeering defense team includes certified Criminal Law Specialists, among the National Trial Lawyers “Top 100 Trial Lawyers” and who have won Not Guilty verdicts in cases deemed “hopeless” and “impossible” by many.