What is Racketeering as Defined Under Arizona Law?
While racketeering is defined and prosecuted on the federal level, Arizona also has its own laws against the crime.
The most interesting thing to point out is that the definition of racketeering in Arizona is quite broad and it applies to numerous things.
How Is Racketeering Defined in Arizona?
In Arizona, racketeering is broadly defined as the illegal control of an enterprise or illegally conducting an enterprise. Keep in mind that the ownership of the enterprise itself and racketeering are separate from each other under local regulations.
According to A.R.S. 13-2301, multiple activities are defined as racketeering in Arizona:
- The intentional and reckless fraud during the purchase of or the sale of securities
- False statements and publications (once again – intentional and reckless) concerning land for sale or lease
- Asserting false claims through fraud
- The resale of real estate with fraudulent intents
- The intentional and reckless sale of unregistered securities
- The intentional and reckless sale of real property securities
- Money laundering
- The counterfeiting of marks
Racketeering also encompasses a number of blue collar crimes like terrorism, prostitution, human trafficking, extortion, forgery, bribery and prostitution, to name a few.
All of these are performed to ensure some kind of financial gain in order to be qualified as racketeering.
Whenever conducting an illegal enterprise, a person is engaging in an act of racketeering by doing the following:
- Asserting false claims
- Ensuring the reckless publication of false information
- Restraining trade or commerce
- Engaging in money laundering
Click here for an article on Arizona racketeering laws.
Penalties for Racketeering in Arizona
The sanctions for racketeering in the state can be quite serious.
A person who is in illegal control of an enterprise faces Class 3 felony charges. A person will be committing illegal control of the said enterprise by using racketeering to either acquire or control investment or specific aspects of the enterprise.
A Class 3 racketeering felony is punishable by a minimum prison sentence of two years and a maximum sentence of 8.75 years.
A person will be illegally conducting an enterprise whenever they’re dealing with enterprise affairs through racketeering. In addition, a person will be conducting the same crime by participating either directly or indirectly in any enterprise activity that’s conducted through racketeering. This is a Class 3 felony in Arizona, as well.
There could be a couple of aggravating circumstances that will change the scope of sanctions.
Hiring a minor to carry out the above-mentioned crimes is an aggravating factor that will contribute to Class 2 felony charges. The minimum prison sentence in such instances is three years and the incarceration could reach up to 12.5 years. Such individuals aren’t eligible for probation, pardon or suspension of the sentence.
The Right Defense Strategy Is Very Important
It’s easy to see that racketeering charges in Arizona can have life-changing consequences. This is the main reason why you should be getting in touch with an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.
Once your lawyer acquaints themselves with the specifics of the case, they will craft a viable defense strategy.
Arguing that a person is not involved with an enterprise ranks as one of the most popular racketeering defense scenarios. Alternatively, the lawyer may try to establish the fact that money or financial gains aren’t involved. If these elements are missing, racketeering cannot take place.
Understand the fact that besides being charged for a basic crime like money laundering, for example, you will face the additional racketeering charges. This is the main reasons why the sanctions could add up and also contribute to a very complicated court process.
Even if your lawyer could not prove the fact that you weren’t involved in racketeering, it’s still possible to benefit from sentence reduction. As racketeering proceedings typically target organizations, cooperating with the authorities could contribute to some leniency.
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