What is Racketeering?
Racketeering is classified as a crime that takes place through or while undertaking an illegal business or commercial venture. The activity of Racketeering is neither specific to solely illegal nor legal business operations. A wide array of the types of Racketeering exists.
What is the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Statue (RICO)?
The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Statute (RICO) is a legislative Act passed by the Federal Government in order to quell the activity, formation, and proliferation of organized crime in the United States of America. RICO statutes solidify a method of legal and punitive restitution with regard to Racketeering activity, where punishments range from individual operations to operations formulated by organized crime.
Racketeering Offense Profile
Legal Jurisdiction: Criminal Law, Consumer Law, Commercial Law, Business Law
Type of Crime: Felony – varies upon the nature of the crime
Criminal Code: Varies upon the location of the crime, including the applicable country, nation, state, or province
Range of Punishment(s): Fines, probation, associated penalties, or incarceration – varies upon case details
Duration of Punishment(s): Varies upon case details
Applicable Punishment(s): Varies upon individual intent, criminal record, criminal history, and the victim(s) involved. The nature of the Racketeering offense in tandem with the applicable statutes listed in RICO typically designate any and all applicable punishment and sentencing. Criminal activity without the presence of any legitimate business or commercial endeavor normally possesses the most severe punishments.
Racketeering Allegations: Terminology and Associated Offenses
The following are commonly associated with charges of Racketeering:
Organized Crime: A structured criminal organization that engages in organized illegal activity for profit.
Mafia: An organized crime operation deeply rooted in family ties, which employs a familial hierarchical system in which its members participate.
Mob: In contrast to the Mafia, a mob engages in more subversive activity, while the Mafia typically engages in criminal activity under the guise of legitimate business activity.
Bootlegging: Illegal activity that is conducted through secretive and clandestine means.
Prohibition: A legislative ban on a specific substance or item put in place by a governing body. Racketeering is a crime that can be reactionary to smuggling and the illegal import/export of prohibited goods or items.
Smuggling: The illegal transport of substances or items deemed illegal by the governing body of a specific location.
Arrest Process for Racketeering
Individuals who have been served documentation in the form of an arrest warrant displaying a Racketeering charge, or have already been arrested by law enforcement agents, are encouraged to cooperate with the arresting officers regardless of personal belief with regard to the charges. Individuals under arrest will be given the opportunity to consult with legal specialists subsequent to the arrest process. Resisting or fleeing from a Racketeering arrest can result in harm, injury, and additional penalties. Upon arrest, an individual should be made aware of the following in order to prevent any further complication(s):
The Presumption of Innocence
Upon the arrest for a Racketeering charge, this is the standard arrest protocol that must be upheld by any and all arresting officers. Miranda Rights include the Fifth Amendment, which states that an individual retains the right to remain silent in order to avoid incriminating themselves. This is also known as ‘pleading the Fifth’. In addition, Miranda Rights also guarantee the following rights with regard to an arrest:
The right to remain silent
The right for any words spoken during the arrest to be admissible during a trial
The right to consult with an attorney regardless of financial stature
The acknowledgement that the individual arrested for the Racketeering charge understands the aforementioned rights.
The Preparation of a Racketeering Defense
Individuals are encouraged to consult with attorneys specializing in criminal law and, if possible, those who focus on Racketeering legality, criminal law, consumer law, and commercial law. In the construction of a defense, the individual may be asked to provide the nature of the Racketeering offense in question, associated Racketeering activity, the biographical information with regard to any and all victims, any previous arrests and/or convictions, evidence and witness testimony, full account of the details surrounding the event in question, and the arrangement for bail or bond.
Reporting a Racketeering Offense
In the event that an individual has been made aware of an ongoing Racketeering crime and subsequent violation of a RICO statute, or has been party to a Racketeering crime that has occurred in the past, they are encouraged to contact their local authorities or law enforcement department in order to report the details of the offense. In the event that an individual wishes to do so in an anonymous fashion, they have to opportunity to contact the appropriate Government department, such as the National Crime Prevention Council through their telephone number: (202) 466-6272.