Las Vegas Criminal Attorney Decribes Nevada Crime of RICO (Racketeering)
RICO is commonly associated with the mafia, but it can be used against any group who meets the requirements of the law, which generally means they knowingly participated in a fraudulent scheme.
RICO is a complicated charge that can result in serious penalties and jail time. If you have been charged with racketeering under RICO in Nevada, hiring a qualified and experienced defense lawyer in Las Vegas is the best way to defend yourself.
What is RICO?
RICO is a racketeering law that requires the prosecutor to show two or more of the following crimes took place in a ten year period:
- Dealing drugs
- Illegal pornography
- Money laundering and
- Other similar crimes punishable under state law.
The crimes must be related to one another and not separate crimes committed during the ten year time frame. They are called “predicate crimes” and even the attempt commit these crimes can be enough for a RICO charge.
Nevada’s racketeering statute uses a five year time period instead of the ten year period used by federal law.
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What is Racketeering?
Racketeering can be any of the following activities individually or in combination:
- Earning income from a pattern of crimes listed above
- Owning a stake in a business that engages in the crimes listed above for profit
- Lead or participate in a business that earns income from a pattern of the crimes listed above.
Sentences for Racketeering in Nevada
Nevada state law provides penalties of 5 to 20 years in a Nevada prison and $25,000 in fines for each charge.
All racketeering charges will require restitution, whether they are brought under federal or state law.
Sentences also depend on the related crimes. For example, if the two interrelated crimes which occurred in a ten year period are murders, life imprisonment without the possibility of parole could be the sentence for racketeering.
Defenses to RICO
RICO is a difficult crime to prove because it requires the state to show that the crimes were committed for the same purpose or part of the same scheme. If the predicate crimes are not related, this is a defense to RICO charges.
RICO often requires a lot of evidence collected over time by federal law enforcement agencies. This means that there are many opportunities for law enforcement to illegally find or seize evidence in your case. Evidence that is not discovered legally should be thrown out of the case, or suppressed, by a good criminal defense lawyer. Evidence that is thrown out makes the case more difficult to prove beyond a reasonable doubt.
RICO is a complex criminal statute if you have been arrested for racketeering in Nevada, you should turn over your defense to LV Criminal Defense – a team of qualified Las Vegas defense lawyers – as soon as possible.