Law Office of David P. Shapiro - San Diego Criminal Defense Attorney

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San Diego RICO Lawyer

Are you facing charges under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act? These federal cases involve allegations of racketeering activities like extortion, money laundering, and bribery and require a tailored criminal defense strategy. At the Law Office of David P. Shapiro, our San Diego RICO lawyers are best equipped to help individuals and businesses accused of RICO violations and organized crime offenses.

We understand this powerful statute and the severe penalties at stake. Our RICO attorneys will scrutinize the prosecution’s case, protect your constitutional rights, and build a defense to fight the charges and avoid a conviction that could lead to steep fines and lengthy prison sentences. Don’t risk your future – contact us immediately if you’re under investigation or indicted for alleged RICO crimes.

Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO)

RICO charges under 18 U.S.C. §§ 1961-1968 involve engaging in a pattern of criminal activities as part of an organized enterprise.

The RICO Act is a blanket federal law that targets illegal activities, including:

  • White-collar crimes like embezzlement, money laundering, and bribery
  • Drug trafficking and distribution
  • Organized crime activities

Both federal and state authorities can bring RICO charges, with federal offenses often carrying harsher penalties.

Legislators originally drafted RICO statutes to combat organized crime. However, the application of the RICO Act has expanded over the years to include a wide range of criminal activities.

In a nutshell, you cannot participate in or operate an enterprise that engages in “racketeering activity.”

This definition means for RICO charges to stick, prosecutors must prove the following:

  1. An enterprise existed
  2. You were associated with the enterprise
  3. Racketeering activity existed in the organization
  4. You directly or indirectly participated in the enterprise and racketeering activity.

Criminal Activities Covered by The RICO Act

The RICO Act applies to a wide range of criminal activities that constitute “racketeering.” This includes acts such as bribery, extortion, money laundering, kidnapping, arson, gambling, murder, drug trafficking, embezzlement, and offenses involving bankruptcy fraud or securities fraud.

To violate RICO laws, prosecutors must prove a “pattern” of racketeering activity by the defendant(s) as part of an ongoing criminal enterprise or conspiracy.

Racketeering activities covered by the RICO Act under the US Code include a variety of offenses, such as:

  • Operating illegal gambling or drug trafficking rings
  • Engaging in long-term corporate fraud or embezzlement schemes
  • Committing felonies to collect an unlawful debt
  • Money laundering or other financial crimes by organized crime groups
  • Public corruption and bribery of government officials
  • Extortion, robbery, or other acts by violent street gangs

Allegations of racketeering are extremely serious. Our RICO defense lawyers in San Diego know how to safeguard your rights.

Potential Penalties of a Conviction Under the RICO Act

Criminal penalties under the RICO Act can include:

  • Lengthy prison sentences – up to 20 years (or life) in federal prison.
  • Significant fines and asset forfeiture.
  • Reputational damage and impact on professional licenses.

Our attorneys at the Law Office of David P. Shapiro know the stakes are high. So, we mount individual defenses for every RICO charge against you.

Defending Against San Diego RICO Charges

Facing RICO charges requires a strategic defense from experienced criminal defense attorneys. At our firm, our San Diego RICO lawyers explore all potential defenses, including:

  • Challenging whether the alleged crimes meet the legal definition of racketeering activity.
  • Contesting the existence of an ongoing criminal enterprise or conspiracy.
  • Disputing the prosecution’s evidence of a pattern of racketeering acts.
  • Raising issues with the statute of limitations for certain predicate offenses.
  • Proving the accused withdrew from or had no knowledge of the racketeering scheme.
  • Protecting against disproportionate asset forfeiture and seizures
  • Identifying constitutional rights violations which could lead to suppression of evidence.

Our RICO defense team investigates the facts, scrutinizes the indictment, and mounts an effective defense. We are not intimidated by the broad scope of the RICO Act – our goal is to uphold your constitutional rights and avoid the severe penalties of a conviction. If you are under investigation or charged with racketeering crimes, contact us immediately.

Why Early Intervention is Necessary in RICO Cases

The earlier your San Diego RICO lawyer gets involved in your case, the better your chances are of achieving a favorable outcome.

Early intervention allows your legal defense counsel to:

  • Hire experts to identify issues in the Government’s case and challenge their conclusions.
  • Identify potential weaknesses in the prosecution’s case and leverage them to get the best possible outcome.
  • Develop a strong defense strategy tailored to your unique circumstances.
  • Negotiate with prosecutors to reduce charges or secure a plea agreement, if necessary.

Don’t wait until it’s too late to seek legal help. Contact The Law Office of David P. Shapiro when facing RICO charges in San Diego to protect your rights and build your defense.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between federal and state RICO charges?

The US Attorney brings federal RICO charges for prosecution in federal court, while the California Attorney General files RICO charges in Superior Court. Federal RICO penalties are usually more severe.

What are the potential defenses against RICO charges?

Possible defenses include challenging the alleged pattern of criminal activity, questioning the existence of an organized enterprise, and exposing weaknesses in the evidence linking you to the alleged crimes. The Law Office of David P. Shapiro will develop a personalized defense strategy based on the unique circumstances of your case.

How long do RICO cases typically take to resolve?

RICO litigation is complex and can take months or even years to resolve, depending on the facts and specific circumstances. Your defense counsel will work to achieve the best possible outcome as efficiently as possible.

Consult Our San Diego RICO Lawyers Today

Be sure to seek legal help when facing RICO charges. The sooner you contact the Law Office of David P. Shapiro’s criminal defense attorneys, the better our experienced RICO defense team will have to get ahead of the prosecution and build a strong strategy to defend against the RICO charges you are facing.

We offer private, confidential consultations to discuss your case and help you understand your options. Contact us today to take the first step toward protecting your future.

If you or someone you love is facing criminal charges in California, swift action is imperative. The penalties can be life altering and long lasting. Give us a call today to set up a case evaluation with one of our attorneys and learn how to best protect your freedom and future. Too often, we see clients who “wait and see,” unsure of the legal landscape ahead, only for charges to escalate. They then find themselves backpedaling into a bad defense and an even worse lawyer. Don’t let that happen to you. Protect your freedom. Protect your future. Know your rights.

The contents of this article are meant for informational and marketing purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. Viewing and/or use of the blog does not form an attorney-client relationship. No statements in this post are a guarantee, warranty, or prediction of a particular result in your case.