RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act) passed in 1970 to prevent the organized crime operations. Racketeering crimes are criminal activities in which an organization or a person participates in a “racket.” This takes place when the criminal creates a problem for others for the purpose of solving that problem by some kind of extortion. The person or organization who participates in the racket is called a racketeer. Racketeering has always been related with the mafia and organized crime, which can include many crimes such as, money laundering, murder, embalmment, drug distribution, etc.
The California racketeering laws are established to punish any organized criminal activity or any offense that is carried out for enterprise’s financial gain or for the sake of illegal benefit by the organization. The objective of California State legislation to establish this law and Federal racketeering laws is to abolish or diminish these criminal organizations and prevent them from committing any crime by severing the bonds that tie the enterprise together.
Racketeering Law in California Statute
This is a very serious offense and comes under the California Penal Code Section 186. This statute serves as a tool for any State and Federal laws to debilitate or eradicate the proprietorship or control of criminal enterprises or organizations through racketeering charges. In the Federal court the government prosecutor can file these charges through the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act (RICO) at a federal level. In California, racketeering laws are encoded in the California Control of Profits of Organized Crime Act and added this crime into the penal code.
- California Penal Code Section 186.2: Defining criminal profiteering activity
- California Penal Code Section 186.3: Forfeiture of property or proceeds derived from profiteering as punishment
Punishments / Penalties for RICO Claims
The seriousness of the punishments for a racketeering conviction in California depend on different components encompassing the case, for example, if the respondent or accused has any earlier felony conviction in his record or not, if at the time of committing the crime was on probation period or parole, among others. Punishments of a racketeering conviction in California include:
- Imprisonment up to 20 years
- Substantial Fine
- House Detain
- Forfeiture of Assets
- Compensation to victim 3 times more than damages caused
- Confiscation or forfeiture of the profit or benefit earned in result of this crime
Common Defenses in Racketeering
- Insufficient Evidence
- Lack of Intent
- Lack of involvement
- Illegal Search and Seizure
- Unrelated Activity
- Mistakenly Convicted
California Federal Criminal Defense Attorney
Criminal Investigations regarding RICO charges are frequently extensive with complex legal procedures; therefore, in case you or someone close to you has been accused of any related RICO crimes in California hiring an experienced Federal Criminal Defense Attorney is the best course of action. The Law Office of Raoul Severo is one of the top Federal Criminal Attorney in California and is at your service.