Federal charges inherently seem to be much more serious than state offenses. Yet you may realistically have a greater potential of facing such a crime than a violation of one of Florida’s statutes. Part of that may have to do with a greater familiarity with local laws. Yet it may also be due to the often broad application of federal regulations.
Racketeering charges often serve as a good example of this. Many come to us here at Brunvand Wise, P.A. facing such an accusation confused over how their actions could potentially qualify as criminal. If you find yourself in the same situation (and contemplating the same question), you should know that, when it comes to racketeering, officials may take your mere association with an organization as criminal.
The Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organization Law
Authorities can do this thanks to the Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organization Law. RICO law extended the authority of federal officials to seek criminal charges against those associated with criminal enterprises. This law initially allowed for greater flexibility in pursuing organized crime leaders (who often do not directly participate in their organizations’ criminal activities). Yet it may also open the door for you to face prosecution for crimes allegedly committed by your company (or any enterprise you associate with).
The standard for prosecuting under RICO law
Yet according to the U.S. Department of Justice, officials must meet a standard to convict you for racketeering under RICO law. This includes:
- Proving a criminal enterprise existed
- Showing it affected interstate commerce
- Verifying your association or employment with the enterprise
- Demonstrating your direct involvement in racketeering activity
- Supporting that accusations with at least two different examples of you engaging in racketeering
You can find more information on defending yourself against federal charges (such as racketeering) by continuing to explore our site.