To be charged with organizing or participating in a criminal enterprise can be very overwhelming, intimidating, and confusing, especially if you have no knowledge of being part of such an organization that commits criminal acts. This does not mean you should not take the charge seriously. Criminal enterprises, also sometimes referred to as organized crime, may have gained pop culture notoriety thanks to films like The Godfather, but it is a serious state or federal crime, not just a Hollywood fabrication. It is a real crime, with real penalties, that warrants real and immediate action. If you are accused of a criminal enterprise crime, the most important thing to do is to ensure you are not pressured or manipulated by law enforcement or prosecutors to enter a guilty plea by retaining the services of an experienced and aggressive Michigan criminal defense lawyer.
With over 40 years of experience, successful track records, and positive testimonials, the experienced criminal defense attorneys at Swor Law have the skills, knowledge, and resources necessary to develop a defense strategy designed specifically for your situation. Our mission is to do everything within our power to protect your legal rights.
Call Swor Law for a free case evaluation to learn more about your legal options.
Definition of Criminal Enterprises
Although criminal enterprises and organized crime are practically synonymous, there are certain statutes that relate specifically to criminal enterprises. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), a criminal enterprise is defined “as a group of individuals with an identified hierarchy, or comparable structure, engaged in significant criminal activity.”
This criminal activity may include various offenses, such as the following:
- Bank fraud
- Drug trafficking
- Human trafficking
- Money laundering
Such a group, or organization, often engages in multiple criminal activities and has extensive supporting networks. For a person to be convicted of a criminal enterprise crime, all aspects of a criminal enterprise as established by criminal statutes must be proven.
Two such statutes include the Continuing Criminal Enterprise statute and the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) statute:
- RICO: Under the RICO Act, an enterprise is defined as “any individual, corporation, partnership, association or other legal entity, and any group or union of individuals associated in fact though not a legal entity.”
- Continuing Criminal Enterprise: A criminal enterprise, as defined by the Continuing Criminal Enterprise statute, is any group of at least six persons, where one of the six holds the position of a leader, organizer, manager, or any other supervisory position with respect to the other five, and which generates significant resources or income, and continues to violate laws set forth in subchapters I and II, Chapter 13, Title 21 of the U.S. Code.
A criminal enterprises conviction carries substantial penalties, including a lengthy prison sentence, potentially a life term, and fines that can exceed one million dollars. Avoiding a conviction is your number one priority. To be successful, you must have quality legal representation. At Swor Law, our aggressive Michigan criminal enterprises attorneys have over 40 years of legal experience that we will leverage to develop the strongest possible defense on your behalf. To learn more about obtaining the best possible outcome in your case, call Swor Law for a confidential consultation with a member of our legal team.