The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, better known as the RICO statute, is an encompassing series of laws and regulations that help federal law enforcement to try everyone from drug cartels to the mafia. RICO primarily focuses on racketeering, though anything to do with interstate commerce in the violation of the law can also earn a RICO beef, and thus courts are constantly busy trying RICO cases. The bad news is that anyone charged with any RICO statute is looking at some really serious potential time. RICO is nothing to be trifled with, and this type of charge is typically reserved for people accused of serious criminality. The good news, however, is that there are many attorneys out there who specialize in such RICO cases and who know how to navigate this treacherous field.
If you are involved in any way with a RICO beef, you should immediately seek to contact a qualified attorney to discuss your options. Getting out in front of this is going to be your smartest available play. Hoping for the best without taking action is an invitation to spend time in federal prison.
The Best Traits of a Good RICO Attorney
Understanding the Statute
The first real benefit a great lawyer provides is that he or she, or the team, understands perfectly the ins and outs of the RICO laws. This means that if there exist any loopholes that can leave you free and clear, they will be found and exploited by qualified attorneys. However, keep in mind that word qualified. Your average lawyers are not going to know enough about the subject to really delve into the fine print here; it takes seriously qualified lawyers who deal specifically with these types of charges to help you out of this tricky situation. Things can get very ugly in a hurry; having the right attorney is a must.
Helping to Secure a Deal
Another area where the right attorney is going to help out is in securing you a good deal. Now, no one wants to assume any guilt here; however, most jurisdictions are not going to charge RICO without a ton of ironclad evidence, which means the accused, although innocent until proven guilty, really has the deck stacked against them. Pleading down is an option for most people under RICO statutes, but only with the right attorney to craft the best possible deal for you and your particular situation. This is something that cannot be left to a cut-rate attorney. It takes skill and experience.
One of the horrible side effects of being charged on a RICO beef is that your name is inevitably going to be dragged through the mud. Although you always are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law, the same cannot be said with the court of public opinion. As soon as the word starts to get out, your name is going to be associated with criminal activity on a massive level. Believe it or not, a good lawyer can not only control what goes on in the courtroom, but also outside of it to an extent. The right lawyer knows different ways by which you can keep your name away from media.
Working with the State
That old adage about not being a rat is reserved for mobsters. For anyone else, if you can give up something to get something, then that should be the first thing on your list: Giving something up. Now, with an experienced, skilled lawyer, particularity one who knows how the prosecution operates, you’re going to have many more doors opened for you in this regard. You’re going to be able to make more deals, and to trade off more information for more leniency. This is because the best lawyers in this regard were once prosecutors, so they already know how the state is going to view these cases and how you’re going to be viewed by the state. This gives you a few options to help keep yourself out of jail.
Now, again, no one wants to assume the guilt of anyone else, but suffice to say that a RICO charge is a very serious thing. This isn’t something the federal government does lightly, so assuming the odds are going to be working against you is a given. Though with the right lawyer, you should be able to minimize exposure and damage while being able to deal for a much lighter judgment.