Outside of Pennsylvania state law, federal crimes are handled by federal courts and law. Federal crimes are usually serious and complex charges with severe penalties. Some federal charges, such as drug charges, embezzlement, fraud, tax evasion, white collar crime, and child sex, are similar to state crimes. However, Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) act violations are charges that are commonly handled exclusively at the federal level. Rico violations deal with people who make a career out of criminal activity. In regards to federal law, these people are known as racketeers.
If you are facing RICO violation charges chargers or other federal crime charges, it is vital that you consult with a qualified Allegheny County RICO violation and federal crime attorney. Federal law and court proceedings are complex and should not be trusted to be handled by any attorney without a wealth of experience. Attorneys at Stewart, Murray, and Associates (SMA) Law Group have more than a decade of experience dealing with RICO violation crimes. Having solid representation may be your best chance of fighting these serious charges.
What is Racketeering?
The RICO act was introduced by the federal government in the seventies to combat organized crime. The RICO act is intended to eliminate organizations from the top down. Since many leaders of organized crime do not commit crimes themselves, RICO violations allows federal prosecutors can pursue said leaders for having other people commit crimes. In order to be charged with a RICO violation, you must be found to have committed two of the 35 RICO violations within a ten year period. Some common RICO crimes include the following:
- Bribery: Attempting to obtain power or favor from federal or governmental officials by offering compensation.
- Drug crimes: Serious drug crimes like manufacturing or transporting large amounts of drugs are prosecuted at a federal level.
- Hired murder: Being found to order the killing of another person can result in federal charges.
- Fraud: Various forms of fraud can be tried at the federal level.
- Money laundering: Trying to hide illegal profits by deceptive financial dealings.
- Tampering with witnesses: Threating to harm witness in court cases.
Federal crimes carry more severe and complex penalties. Instead of state categories that extend to the first, second, and third degree, federal charges have up to 43 offenses. Maximum imprisonment can result in life sentences. Fines can reach upwards of half a million dollars. Aside from the criminal penalties, federal crimes result in a criminal record that can have more negative effects than a state criminal record, as charges will be accessible from any state.