Coral Gables & Miami, Florida RICO Defense Attorney
The term RICO refers to the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act enacted by federal lawmakers in 1970. The law was primarily aimed at targeting individuals involved in organized crime, though law enforcement and prosecutors have since broadened the interpretation of the law to charge businesses and individuals with RICO violations who were never initially considered under the law. Florida also enacted its own RICO statute and state prosecutors regularly issue charges on the state level. While Florida’s statute is similar to the federal RICO law, there are several important differences, as well.
RICO cases are extremely complex and often require extensive investigations, including wiretaps or even undercover operations. Anyone who believes they may be under suspicion of a RICO violation should contact an experienced Florida criminal defense immediately to discuss your rights and prepare a defense.
Requirements for RICO Convictions
Under Florida law, RICO violations apply to individuals who have engaged in a pattern of racketeering, generally as part of an organized enterprise. “Racketeering” can refer to conspiring to commit certain offenses, attempting to commit such offenses, soliciting or intimidating another individual so that they commit an offense, or actually committing the offense yourself. To qualify as a pattern of racketeering, you must engage in at least two acts of racketeering within a five-year period.
The Florida statute includes a long list of offenses that can qualify as predicate acts for RICO purposes, only some of which include as follows:
|● Assault and battery
● Many types of financial fraud
● Robbery or theft
● Unlawful gambling activities
● Firearm and weapons offenses
|● Unlawful activities related to tobacco and alcohol
● Jury or witness tampering
● Other obstruction of justice
● Arson, burglary, or trespass
● Sexual battery
● Sexual exploitation of children
● Human trafficking or kidnapping
Again, you do not have to actually engage in any of these offenses yourself, as conspiracy or solicitation also qualify as predicate acts under RICO.
Penalties for RICO convictions
Any individual convicted under Florida’s RICO statute faces the following potential consequences:
- First degree felony conviction
- Up to 30 years in state prison
- Fine of $10,000 or more, depending on the losses or injuries to others
As you can see, Florida authorities take RICO acts very seriously and you never want to face RICO charges without the highest quality of legal defense. These cases are usually complicated with many different types of evidence, witnesses, and allegations. You need a defense attorney who understands how to build an aggressive defense specifically against RICO allegations.
Contact a skilled RICO defense lawyer in Florida for a free consultation today
Florida criminal defense lawyer Alfredo A. Izaguirre has the knowledge and resources necessary to defend anyone facing RICO charges in Florida. If you are under investigation or have already been accused of any type of racketeering activity in or around the Coral Gables or Miami area, please contact our office today to discuss your case. Call 305-442-0425 for a free consultation to learn how we can help protect your rights in your criminal case.