When you are charged with a crime, it is usually going to be a state charge. However, many crimes fall under the jurisdiction of the federal government which means that a person can face federal prosecution. In many cases, a person can face both state and federal charges at the same time.
Today we want to discuss the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) as well as other federal crimes. If you or a loved one are facing any of these charges, please seek legal assistance immediately. At Stewart, Murray and Associates Law Group, we are here when you need a Washington County RICO violations and federal crimes attorney.
What This Means
Many people do not understand what RICO charges are and that is likely because they can encompass so many different things at once. RICO laws allow prosecution and civil penalties for racketeering activities (dishonest or fraudulent business dealings) that are part of a criminal enterprise.
How do they become federal charges?
The federal government, by law, can regulate interstate commerce, so any illegal activity that crosses state lines can become a federal case. Activities covered under RICO laws can include, but are not limited to:
- Money laundering
- Slavery and human trafficking
- Illegal gambling
- Drug trafficking
To be found guilty under RICO laws, the government has to prove that a defendant has engaged in two or more instances of racketeering and that they are directly involved in the criminal enterprise. However, there are many other federal crimes that can be prosecuted absent a RICO charge.
Other Federal Crimes
Again, the federal government can pursue charges for crimes that cross state or international borders (bank robbery does not have to cross state lines). Technology makes these lines blurry, giving the government room to prosecute many things. Common federal crimes include:
- Mail fraud
- Credit card fraud
- Identity theft
- Computer crimes
- Immigration offenses
- Terrorism charges
- Art theft or counterfeiting
- Child pornography crimes
- Tax evasion
- And more
The federal government has dozens of investigative agencies, including the FBI, DEA, IRS, Secret Service, ATF, ICE and more. Each of these organizations has considerable resources that can be used against you. We want to stress the severity of being found guilty of a federal crime. Federal sentencing guidelines are stringent and judges do not have much wiggle room when it comes to imposing a sentence.
How We Can Help
RICO charges or other federal charges are serious. If you or a family member are facing these charges or are under investigation, secure an attorney immediately. Do not speak with investigators or prosecutors without your attorney present.