Racketeering is a crime that comes in many forms and may be considered a state or federal offense — sometimes both. It is a crime that involves operating an illegal business or taking funds from a legal company for one to engage in criminal activities. What are the different forms of racketeering, at what point is racketeering a federal crime, and what can Michigan residents faced with federal charges for this type of crime do to protect themselves?
State versus federal
There are several crimes committed at the state level that, under certain circumstances, may qualify for federal racketeering charges. Some of them include kidnapping, extortion, bribery, drug crimes and gambling. Federal charges may be filed in cases involving money laundering, bribery, gambling offenses, human trafficking and obstructing justice — among various other things. Racketeering moves from a state to a federal crime if it involves illegal activities carried on across state lines.
Protecting one’s rights
The good news with racketeering charges is that just like any other criminal offense, the person accused of committing it has the presumption of innocence until – and only if — proven guilty. It may not feel that way when everything seems to be crashing down, and it feels like one is being treated unfairly. Legal counsel can help ensure the client is treated properly and that his or her rights are protected throughout the criminal investigation and court proceedings.
Get the right help
Being charged with a federal crime is a serious matter and needs to be treated as such. The consequences if convicted can be significant, even life-altering. Michigan residents who find themselves facing federal racketeering charges can help themselves and their cases by turning to legal counsel with experience handling criminal cases at the federal level. As it is quite different than how things are addressed at the state level and the stakes are much higher, who a person has on their side matters.