What Are the Penalties for Racketeering in Texas?

handcuffs and money roll

If charged with racketeering, understanding the implications of this crime is vital. Unfortunately, many are unfamiliar with what this offense actually entails. As such, knowing what you are charged with and the penalties you face is crucial to protecting yourself. Keep reading to learn more about this offense and discover how a Houston white collar crimes defense attorney can assist you during these complex times.

What Is Racketeering?

Racketeering is an umbrella term that encompasses a wide variety of criminal activity. Generally, any time someone is found to have an illegitimate business to profit illegally, this is considered racketeering. This crime is most commonly associated with organized crime and mob activity.

If you organize and conspire with others to commit any of the following crimes, you could be charged with racketeering on top of these offenses:

  • Robbery
  • Kidnapping
  • Theft
  • Forgery
  • Murder
  • Sexual assault
  • Arson
  • Money laundering
  • Human trafficking
  • Drug trafficking

What Penalties Can I Face for This Offense?

It’s important to understand that there are federal laws in place to make racketeering even more severe, known as Racketeer-Influenced and Corrupt Organization (RICO) laws. As such, depending on the nature of your crime, you can be charged federally for this offense.

However, Texas has its own laws and penalties for those charged with racketeering. It’s important to note that you will likely face two charges – the criminal offense you committed and an additional racketeering charge. For example, if you are part of a money laundering scheme, you can face a felony charge for laundering on top of the racketeering charge. You can face up to a first-degree felony for organized crime, depending on the nature of the offenses committed.

What Should I Do if I’m Facing Charges?

If you are facing charges, it’s essential to contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible. These charges can be severe, landing you with a lengthy prison sentence if convicted. Enlisting the assistance of an attorney provides you with the best opportunity to fight the charges against you.

Though it may not seem possible, there are potential defenses your lawyer can use to help you fight the charges against you. For example, they may be able to show that you were not a member of an organization and that you did not benefit financially from the alleged crime. If facing federal RICO charges, your attorney may be able to prove that there was no pattern of criminal activity, rendering the federal charges invalid.

When facing criminal charges, the Gonzalez Law Group is ready to assist you. Our dedicated legal team will do everything possible to help you navigate these charges, and we will fight for the best possible outcome for your unique circumstances. Contact us today to discuss the details of your case with a member of our firm.