Top Athens, AL RICO Lawyers Near You

RICO Lawyers | Huntsville Office | Serving Athens, AL

305 Church St SW, Suite 800, Huntsville, AL 35801

RICO Lawyers | Athens Office

315 W. Market St., PO Box 710, Athens, AL 35612

RICO Lawyers | Huntsville Office | Serving Athens, AL

100 Washington Street, Suite 200, Huntsville, AL 35801

RICO Lawyers | Huntsville Office | Serving Athens, AL

200 Clinton Avenue West, Suite 900, Huntsville, AL 35801-4900

RICO Lawyers | Huntsville Office | Serving Athens, AL

655 Gallatin St SW, Huntsville, AL 35801

Athens RICO Information

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Find a RICO Attorney near Athens

The Average Total Federal Prison Sentence for RICO in Alabama

44.5 months*

* based on 2019 Individual Offenders - Federal Court sentencing in Alabama federal courts. See Sentencing Data Information for complete details.

What Is a RICO Violation?

The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act was enacted in 1970 to address organized crime. Under RICO laws, anyone associated with the criminal group could be charged, including organization leaders who ordered or oversaw the criminal activity without directly taking part. RICO also provided for civil remedies and triple damages to recover unlawful gains.

How Do I Get a RICO Charge?

A RICO charge generally involves participation in a “criminal enterprise” with a “pattern of racketeering activity.” To get a RICO charge, the prosecutor must suspect you were involved in a criminal gang or group and the criminal activity involved more than a one-time event. Initially, RICO was used to go after organized crime and the Mafia. However, since the law went into effect, it has been used to indict a number of alleged criminal enterprises, including street gangs, motorcycle gangs, corporations, and police departments

The RICO Act also makes it a violation to conspire to commit racketeering offenses. Conspiracy to violate RICO charges means that someone can be charged and convicted even if the crime was never carried out. A conspiracy is an agreement between two or more people to commit a crime, with some overt act towards furthering the offense.

What Does the RICO Act Cover?

A “pattern of racketeering activity” requires at least two qualifying acts, within a period of ten years. The RICO Act has included several crimes that qualify as racketeering activity, including state and federal offenses. Acts of racketeering can include:

  • Illegal gambling
  • Murder
  • Kidnapping
  • Extortion
  • Arson
  • Robbery
  • Bribery
  • Dealing in obscene matter
  • Drug offenses
  • Counterfeiting
  • Theft
  • Embezzlement
  • Fraud
  • Witness tampering
  • Human trafficking
  • Money laundering
  • Murder-for-hire
  • Loan-sharking
  • Terrorism
  • Mail fraud
  • Wire fraud
  • Securities fraud

How Serious Is a RICO Charge?

A RICO charge is a serious criminal offense that carries the possibility of jail time, fines, and seizure of assets. RICO charges are federal felony charges that include imprisonment for up to 20 years or more. In addition to prison penalties, there are severe financial penalties, which include forfeiture of any interest, security, or property derived from racketeering activity.

There are also civil penalties under RICO. A violation of the RICO Act could include ordering the defendant to turn over financial or business interests, restrict future activities, and break up organizations. Civil remedies can also require restitution to any victims of the criminal offenses.

How Do You Beat a RICO Case?

When federal prosecutors charge someone with RICO offenses, the penalties can include years in federal prison and loss of your financial assets. However, you may have a strong legal case to beat RICO charges. Legal defenses may include challenging the prosecutor’s case to show there was no criminal enterprise and no pattern of criminal activity.

Even if you were involved in criminal activity, it has to be a pattern of racketeering. If there is only evidence of one crime, the defendant should not be convicted under RICO. Alternatively, committing a crime on your own without participation in a criminal organization may be another defense strategy.

Prosecutors may rely on the seriousness of RICO charges to get the defendant to plead guilty to other charges instead of facing the increased RICO penalties. However, before you plead guilty to criminal charges, you should consider talking to a criminal defense attorney for legal advice.

Top Questions to Ask When Hiring an Attorney

  • How many years have you been practicing law? How long have you practiced law in the local area?
  • How many cases similar to mine have you handled in the past?
  • What is the likely outcome for my case?

In legal practice, experience matters. An experienced attorney will likely have handled issues similar to yours many, many times. Therefore, after listening to your situation, the attorney should have a reasonable idea of the time line for a case like yours and the likely resolution.

Tips on Approaching an Initial Attorney Consultation

  • Use the consultation as a means of gaining a better understanding of your legal situation.
  • Ask the attorney how many cases similar to yours he/she has handled. An attorney’s experience and knowledge can speak to their expertise (or lack of) in addressing your situation.
  • Your attorney should be able to articulate roughly how long a case like yours will take to resolve and what sort of procedures to expect.
  • Determine how comfortable you are working with the lawyer and/or law firm.

Tips on Hiring an Experienced Lawyer with RICO Cases

The more experienced a lawyer is in legal practice, the more likely he/she will be able to bring about a successful resolution to your issue. Since experience matters, lawyers who’ve been practicing law for many years (with a successful track record) tend to be in high demand. You should look for information about a lawyer’s experience and ask questions during the initial meeting. It’s a very good idea to ask the lawyer how many years he/she has been practicing law and the expected outcome of your case.

Common legal terms explained

Plaintiff – a person or party who brings a lawsuit against another person(s) or party/parties in a court of law. Private persons or parties can only file suit in civil court.

Judgment – A decision of the court. Also known as a decree or order. Judgments handed down by the court are usually binding on the parties before the court.

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