In the state of Texas, it is illegal to commit any offense that qualifies as racketeering. Essentially, racketeering is the federal criminal act of engaging in an illegal business act or running an illegal or illegitimate business. RICO is the Racketeer-Influenced and Corrupt Organization Laws which make it particularly illegal to profit from an illegal business. The goal is to stop the flow of income to criminal organizations that ultimately use the profits to fund their illegal activities.
If you are accused of racketeering in Texas, there are a variety of defenses that you may be able to use to argue your side of the case. For example, if you can prove that you are not a member of the criminal organization that you were affiliated with, then you may be able to avoid any punishment. Also, if you can prove that you didn't have any knowledge that your actions were furthering the agenda of a criminal organization, then you may be able to avoid penalties. For example, if you were deceived into thinking you were working with a legal organization when you were really working for a criminal operation, you may be able to prove that you were mistaken.
If you are convicted of racketeering in Texas, you will typically be charged with a Class A misdemeanor. In some cases individuals can be charged with a felony, even a first degree felony depending on the nature of the organization. Racketeering can sometimes be an additional crime. For example, if you are affiliated with an organization that supplies hit-men to those wanting to commit a murder, and you commit the murder, then you will be charged with both murder and racketeering. Learn more about this crime by talking with a Houston criminal defense attorney. With the right lawyer on your side you may be able to avoid serious penalties. Contact the firm today if you want to learn more!