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Understanding Federal Racketeering and Conspiracy Charges

Posted on in Criminal Defense

Anderson County federal criminal defense attorneyBeing charged with a criminal offense can result in serious consequences. A person can face costly fines, loss of driving privileges or professional licenses, and a lifetime behind bars, depending on the severity of the crime. There are certain crimes that warrant charges at both the state and federal levels. Federal agencies often have more resources available to investigate alleged crimes, and they take their time gathering important evidence to support their claims. That is why it is imperative that anyone facing federal charges for racketeering or conspiracy seek professional legal assistance as soon as possible. 

What Is Racketeering?

Racketeering may be committed at the state or federal level. Racketeering can refer to the act of acquiring a business, organization, or company through illegal activity; operating a business with illegally obtained income; or using a business operation to commit illegal acts. Federal crimes of racketeering may include the following offenses:

Under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations law (RICO), a conviction of even one count of racketeering can carry up to 20 years in jail. In some situations, a conviction may lead to life imprisonment. A defendant may also be ordered to pay a fine that is twice as much as any illegally obtained profits. The government can also seize any assets earned or maintained through racketeering. This means that if a criminal enterprise owns land, vehicles, and equipment, these assets can become the property of the federal government after a civil forfeiture proceeding.

What Is Conspiracy?

Conspiracy can best be described as a partnership in crime. Legally, a conspiracy exists when two or more people make an agreement to violate the law, and they then act on those plans. An agreement does not have to be in writing; it can be verbal. To be convicted of conspiracy, a person does not have to actually complete the illegal act. For example, several individuals can be convicted of conspiracy to commit burglary even if the actual burglary never takes place. Conspiracy is also unique in that a defendant can be charged with both conspiracy to commit a crime in addition to the crime itself if he or she completes the offense.

This type of federal offense can result in a punishment of up to five years imprisonment, in addition to fines. If the object of the conspiracy is classified as a misdemeanor, such as conspiring to commit vandalism, then a lower penalty would apply. 

Contact a Knoxville, TN Criminal Law Attorney

Criminal charges of any kind should always be taken seriously, but those at the federal level can carry much more weight in terms of penalties. In many cases, a conviction can lead to a lengthy prison sentence. Speaking to a seasoned Knox County criminal defense lawyer can help you understand your legal options. Jeffrey Coller, Knoxville Criminal Defense Attorney is prepared to resolve your case while protecting your rights. Call our office today at 865-281-1000 to learn more and set up a free consultation. 

Source: 

https://www.investopedia.com/terms/r/racketeering.asp

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