RICO charges, also known as racketeering charges, are some of the most complex and difficult types of cases to defend. If you find yourself charged with a RICO violation, make sure you get the best possible defense attorney possible – call Pitorwski Law today at 954-947-5000. Here’s what you need to know about defending racketeering charges in Fort Lauderdale.
The Florida RICO Act
The Florida RICO Act, also known as the Racketeer-Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act, makes it a criminal offense to commit any type of “racketeering activity.” Enshrined under Florida Statutes Title XLVI. 895.03, “racketeering” is defined as the act of committing, an attempt to conspire, coerce, solicit or intimidate another individual to commit:
- “Any crime that is chargeable by petition, indictment, or information,” as detailed in the Florida legal statutes, or
- Any conduct which is classified as “racketeering activity” under the federal RICO Act.
The Florida RICO Act states that it is a felony to commit racketeering offenses, and expressly prohibits the following actions:
- Using any proceeds gained from racketeering activity to acquire any interest in real estate if there is proof of criminal intent behind the receiving of the proceeds.
- Acquiring any real estate through the collection of an unlawful debt.
- Being involved with, or employed by, an organization that engages in “a pattern of racketeering” or the collection of an unlawful debt.
- Attempts or conspiring to commit any of the previously listed crimes.
RICO offenses require proof that a “pattern of racketeering” occurred. Because of this, there are ways to build a successful defense of these charges with the right legal team.
Defending Against RICO Charges
Because of their complexity, defending against racketeering charges under the RICO Act can be difficult. That said, with the help of an experienced, determined and expert criminal defense attorney, there are strategies which may be employed to defend against these severe charges.
RICO charges are incredibly complex and often involve numerous highly-skilled federal always on the prosecution. Since RICO cases are so complex, however, they are subject to much higher standards of pleadings. To establish that a RICO violation occurred, the defendant must be shown to have participated in, “The conduct of an enterprise that affects interstate commerce through a pattern of racketeering activity or collection of unlawful debt.”
To satisfy the requirement of a “pattern of racketeering”, the prosecution must allege not only that defendants had committed more than one predicate acts, but also that these acts themselves amount to, or otherwise constitute a threat of, continuing activity which may be classified as racketeering. Failure of the prosecution to plead under either rule is in itself adequate grounds for dismissal of charges.
Charged with RICO Act Offenses? You Need the Best Defense Lawyer in South Florida
If you’re arrested and charged with any violations under the RICO Act, you need a knowledgeable and experienced criminal defense attorney who will fight doggedly for your rights.
Chad Piotrowski has an impressive background in aggressively defending his clients from charges ranging from drug possession to armed trafficking and first-degree murder. A former prosecutor in Miami-Dade, Chad has the unique ability to anticipate any and all prosecution strategies to help build a strong defense to obtain the best outcome for his clients. Chad is a determined defender of the rights of his clients who are charged with any criminal offenses, including RICO violations.