3 Defense Strategies Against Racketeering Charges in Florida

Being charged with racketeering is a serious and alarming situation. Racketeering involves participating in an illegal business or scheme for profit, often associated with organized crime. Under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act, federal and Florida laws impose harsh penalties for such activities. The charges can involve various crimes over an extended period, adding complexity to the case. Understanding your rights and the potential defense strategies can provide clarity and hope amid the turmoil.

Having an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side is essential when facing racketeering charges. A seasoned criminal defense attorney can analyze the specific details of your case and develop a robust defense strategy tailored to your situation. Fighter Law is committed to aggressively representing individuals accused of racketeering and fighting for the best possible outcome.

How Is Racketeering Defined Under Florida Law?

Under Florida Statutes Title XLVI. § 895.03, racketeering encompasses various criminal activities. It involves committing, attempting to commit, conspiring to commit, soliciting, coercing, or intimidating another person to commit any crime chargeable under specified sections of the Florida Statutes or any conduct defined as “racketeering activity” under the federal RICO Act. This broad definition allows the prosecution of individuals involved in illegal enterprises, even if their participation is indirect.

Racketeering charges can stem from activities such as:

  • Extortion
  • Embezzlement
  • Bribery

A racketeering conviction in Florida is considered a first-degree felony, with penalties that include up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. 

Potential Defense Strategies Against Racketeering Charges in Florida

When facing racketeering charges in Florida, a knowledgeable defense attorney may utilize several strategies to challenge the prosecution’s case. Each defense strategy involves a thorough examination of the evidence and a detailed understanding of the specific circumstances of the case. 

If you’re accused of racketeering in Florida, these defenses could be effective:

Non-Involvement in Criminal Organization

One notable defense against racketeering charges is proving non-involvement in a criminal organization. Racketeering charges often hinge on the accused’s participation in a criminal enterprise. If you were not knowingly and willingly part of such an organization, your attorney can argue that law enforcement should not hold you liable for the group’s activities. This defense focuses on demonstrating that you were either unaware of the illegal activities or not involved in them in a way that constitutes racketeering under the law.

Lack of “Pattern of Racketeering Activity”

For a racketeering charge to hold, there must be evidence of a “pattern of racketeering activity.” In Florida, that means at least two acts of racketeering within 10 years. A defense strategy might involve showing that the alleged acts are isolated incidents rather than part of a coordinated pattern. Your attorney can argue that the incidents do not share the same purpose, participants, or methods and, therefore, do not meet the legal definition of a pattern. Isolated or sporadic criminal acts are insufficient to establish a racketeering activity pattern.

Withdrawal from Criminal Enterprise

This might serve as a viable defense if you can prove that you withdrew from the criminal enterprise before any racketeering activities occurred. Withdrawal requires demonstrating that you entirely and voluntarily abandoned your involvement in the enterprise and took steps to prevent further criminal activities. This defense shows that you distanced yourself from the organization and did not participate in the racketeering activities, potentially absolving you of liability.

Defend Against RICO Charges in Florida With Board-Certified Trial Attorneys

If you’re facing racketeering charges, it’s highly advisable to consult an experienced attorney without delay. RICO charges can be prosecuted at both federal and state levels, requiring significant time and proficiency to build a strong defense. Acting quickly ensures your attorney can gather the necessary evidence and develop a defense strategy to protect your rights and freedoms.

At Fighter Law, we fight for you with aggressive representation to achieve the best possible results tailored to your unique situation. Thomas Feiter and Jessica Travis are former prosecutors and are now top-rated, board-certified trial lawyers who understand RICO statutes thoroughly. Schedule a free consultation with Fighter Law’s criminal defense attorneys today by calling (407) 344-4837 or completing our contact form.


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