If you are being charged with racketeering in New Jersey, you can be certain that the proposed punishments are going to be harsh. The state can take years and years to build this kind of case, so you need to take these charges seriously. Your first order of business should be contacting a Mercer County criminal defense lawyer who can help you defend yourself against these charges.
What Kinds of Crimes Can Lead to Racketeering Charges?
You can be charged with racketeering for all sorts of crimes. The key considerations here are whether or not the crimes were committed with the goals of a larger criminal enterprise in mind and if the prosecution can find a pattern of behavior over a period of up to 10 years. Crimes that can result in racketeering charges include:
- Counterfeiting money
- Securities fraud
- Money laundering
- Human trafficking
Violent crimes, like murder, can also be considered racketeering.
Can I Go to Jail for Racketeering?
Yes, you can go to jail for racketeering. For second-degree crimes, it is not uncommon to see convicted defendants spend five to 10 years in jail. They could also owe fines of up to $150,000.
People who commit first-degree crimes, ones that involve violence, can face even longer jail sentences. Punishments of 10 to 20 years in prison are common, and fines can rise up to $200,000. Anyone convicted of first- or second-degree crimes can also be forced to give up any assets that were gained through criminal enterprises.
How Can I Defend Myself From Racketeering Charges?
If the state believes that you are taking part in a big criminal conspiracy, it can be hard to defend yourself. A lawyer from our firm can look at the facts of your case and figure out the best way to defend you. Sometimes you can argue that you were unaware that there was criminal activity happening in the first place. In other situations, you may be able to argue that you had no intent to actually participate in criminal activity. Finally, if you were forced into helping out with this enterprise, you may be able to argue that you were under duress at the time any crimes were committed.
Do I Need a Defense Attorney?
Racketeering charges are always quite serious and the punishments for getting convicted can be incredibly harsh. You need to be sure that you are forging the best possible defense. A public defender may have too much on their plate to put their maximum effort into your case. When you hire our firm, you can be sure that we are going to do everything that we can to defend you from these charges.
Schedule a Consultation Today
Our firm has experience helping clients defend themselves from all sorts of criminal charges. Contact the Law Office of Douglas Herring and schedule a consultation to learn more about how we can put our experience to work for you.