An accusation of racketeering is a serious one, so it should not surprise you that the penalties for this crime can be quite severe here in New Jersey. If you are accused of racketeering, you should not waste any time. Talk to a Bergen County, New Jersey criminal defense lawyer and get ready to figure out a way to defend yourself.
When Can You Be Targeted With Racketeering?
The state charges people with racketeering when they can identify a pattern of criminal behavior and incidents over a period lasting as long as 10 years. The prosecution will argue that these crimes and events were not random. They were part of a larger project involving a criminal enterprise. Your actions were in service to this larger entity and you helped this group grow and hurt more people.
What Kinds of Crimes Can Be Considered Racketeering?
You can be charged with a variety of crimes when the state wants to go after you for racketeering. Some are financial, and some are more violent in nature. The important thing to the prosecution is that they can establish a pattern when they see you commit crimes like:
- Money laundering
- Credit card fraud
- Selling controlled substances
Can You Go to Jail For Racketeering?
You can go to jail for racketeering in New Jersey, and it is unlikely that your prison stay will be a short one if convicted. If you are convicted of a crime of the second degree, your prison term could last between five and ten years. You would also have to pay a fine of up to $150,000.
Defendants convicted of crimes of the first degree can face even harsher penalties. They could go to jail for between 10 and 20 years. They will also need to pay a higher fine, one of up to $200,000. Also, anyone convicted of second- or first-degree crimes would have to give up the assets they gained through their criminal activity.
Do I Need a Criminal Defense Attorney?
There is a lot at stake here, so we suggest hiring a criminal defense attorney who can dedicate the appropriate amount of time to your case. A racketeering case involves multiple accusations of criminal activity over a period that lasts as long as a decade. You need to be sure that your lawyer can keep track of everything and decide on the best possible defense strategy. Some common defenses include:
- Claiming that you did not know about the criminal enterprise
- Showing that you committed crimes under duress
- There was no pattern of criminal activity
Talk to Our Legal Team
Now that you know more about what you are facing, you should understand why we suggest doing everything that you can to defend yourself. Act now and contact the Law Office of E. Gregory M. Cannarozzi. We can schedule a consultation and tell you more about how we can help you fight for your rights and the best possible outcome.