Because businesses in Georgia and other states can greatly impact interstate and even foreign commerce, companies engaged in certain illegal activities could face charges of federal crimes. By definition, racketeering occurs when illegal businesses are run by groups or legitimate businesses which use profits to benefit a criminal organization. Racketeering could lead to serious penalties for those convicted of being involved in the process. Many facing these charges consider seeking an attorney who is well versed in criminal defense.
The most common forms of racketeering charges deal with illegal industries such as prostitution, sex trafficking, illegal weapons trafficking, drug trafficking and counterfeiting. Many of these operations include several members in the enterprise. However, when individuals are accused of racketeering, authorities often locate and arrest lower-ranked members in order to build a case against the high-level members of a criminal enterprise.
In order to prosecute those connected to allegations of racketeering, Congress enacted the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act or RICO in 1970. This legislation defines what the prosecution must prove in order to convict an individual or organization accused of racketeering. It is not necessary to prove that the defendant(s) personally committed illegal acts, but rather that the defendant owned or managed an organization which regularly performed one or more specific kinds of illegal activity.
In order to make a defense against such charges, those accused of racketeering would likely have to disprove either of these requirements. Additionally, defendants and qualified defense attorneys could pursue other defense options that could help dismiss evidence against them. This could ultimately help the accused have the charges reduced or even dismissed.
Being convicted of a federal crime in the state of Georgia could result in very serious and harsh consequences. Most accused of racketeering crimes seek the counsel of experienced criminal defense attorneys. Attorneys who focus in this area of law will be in the best position to discuss the legal avenues to ensure their clients’ rights are protected throughout the legal process and to mount the strongest legal defense possible.
Source: justice.gov, “9-110.000 – Organized Crime And Racketeering“, Accessed on Oct. 12, 2016