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Michigan Civil RICO Act Defense Strategies

The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act focuses specifically on prosecuting those who have committing racketeering crimes. Someone accused of racketeering could face up to 20 years in prison as well as expensive fines. If you have been charged with violating the RICO Act, seek the services of a well-established defense lawyer. An experienced attorney could help you by building viable Michigan Civil RICO Act defense strategies for your case.

Burden of Proof in RICO Case

The first defense an attorney could use is convincing the judge in motion practice that the situation is not actually a RICO case. The lawyer could say that the defendant’s actions were not of a criminal nature and to dismiss the RICO portion of the case. This is why it is essential for those accused of committing a RICO violation to hire an attorney who understands the aspects associated with a Civil RICO Act case in Michigan.

In a RICO violation, the prosecution has to draw a distinction between the enterprise and the people involved in the commission of the violations. The enterprise is the business that is associated with the crime. The prosecutors cannot just claim that three people got together and engaged in a crime. They must draw a distinction. If the prosecutors are alleging that the defendant engaged in a series of mail frauds and they did not use a separate and distinct enterprise, then it is not a RICO case. It would then be a civil lawsuit and maybe a criminal case, but not a RICO.

The party filing the RICO case has to clearly present both the enterprise and the group of individuals whom they claim are conducting the pattern of racketeering activity. If they cannot establish the distinction between the two, most judges will throw the case out.

Developing a Defense

Whether it is the plaintiff or the defendant, one has to ask themselves if there was actually a pattern of racketeering activity. When defending a RICO case, the lawyer wants to begin the defense by attacking the alleged pattern of racketeering activity. The Michigan Civil RICO Act defense strategies start with refuting any act association with racketeering.

Also, the attorney looks at whether or not the person actually misused the enterprise. For example, a general manager at a General Motors plant is trying to shake down a supplier but unless the supplier can prove the general manager was using to the power of General Motors to extort money, then it would not be a RICO violation.

In prepping as a plaintiff, they would want to make sure the enterprise was used to commit the offense. In defending it, the defense attorney wants to establish right away that the enterprise was not involved.

How an Attorney Could Help

Violating the RICO Act can carry serious consequences to the offenders. This is why it is essential for someone charged with such an offense to obtain a seasoned lawyer as soon as possible. The RICO Act is complex, which is why you may need an experienced attorney who could help you by having several Michigan Civil RICO Act defense strategies available. If you are facing charges, contact an accomplished defense lawyer who could assess your case and see what your options may be going forward.