Racketeering is the act of running a business and engaging in certain criminal activities through this business. The state is required to set forth evidence to prove a pattern of racketeering activity before you can be charged with this offense. The prosecution has the burden of proving that the individual participated in racketeering activity or derived some sort of economic benefit from involvement in racketeering.
According to the New Jersey Statute, individuals cannot be charged with racketeering until they have committed at least two specific acts of racketeering within a 10-year period. In most cases, racketeering has to do with obtaining or extorting money from another person or entity. It is usually an organized crime. Racketeering can be charged as a federal or state crime, depending on the nature of the offense.
Just because you committed two of these crimes within a 10-year span does not necessarily mean you will be convicted of racketeering. Prosecutors are required to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you were deriving economic benefit from the illegal activity; or that you intended to use or invest money into the crimes you committed or to fund further crime.
Individuals who are convicted of a pattern of racketeering activity that involved the use of a firearm or was violent can result in first degree racketeering. This can result in imprisonment for 10 to 20 years and you may be forced to pay a fine up to $200,000. Many convicts are not eligible for parole. Individuals found guilty of second degree racketeering can face up to 5-10 years in prison and may be fined up to $150,000.
We are very familiar with racketeering cases and have even seen significant success in cases of this nature. Once, we defended a client charged in a three count indictment with 2 counts of first degree racketeering and one count of second degree witness tampering. The defendant faced a sentence of 40 years on first degree racketeering counts if convicted.
We were able to negotiate a plea that resulted in the dismissal of both first degree racketeering charges. The defendant pled guilty to an amended charge of third degree witness tampering and received a four-year flat term in a New Jersey state prison, despite his reputation as a four star general in the Bloods gang.
If you want more information about racketeering, don't hesitate to contact our firm right away. Our New Jersey criminal defense attorney may be able to defend you in your case. Let us pursue a positive result for you! Contact us today!