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27 Nov 23

Defending Philadelphia Federal Violent Crime and RICO Charges

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Last Updated on: 4th January 2024, 08:45 pm

Defending Against Federal Charges in Philadelphia

When facing federal charges like violent crimes or racketeering in Philadelphia, the stakes are high and having an experienced defense attorney is crucial. Let’s break down some key things to know when building your defense strategy.

Violent Crimes

The federal system categorizes many offenses under “violent crimes,” carrying significant penalties. Types of federal violent crimes include robbery, assault, murder, and weapons charges. Prosecutors may seek 10+ year sentences under laws like the Armed Career Criminal Act.

Building an effective defense starts with understanding the charges and potential sentences. An attorney can analyze the case facts and identify weaknesses to exploit. For example, if the weapon or drugs found were in someone else’s possession, that creates reasonable doubt. Self-defense claims may also defeat assault charges when appropriate.

Sentencing is a major consideration. By negotiating plea deals or pursuing variances, we can seek reduced sentences if convicted. Alternative programs like drug court may be an option too. The goal is mitigating penalties as much as possible.

RICO Charges

The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act aims to dismantle organized crime enterprises. It covers many underlying offenses – drug trafficking, bribery, counterfeiting, etc. – if committed through a criminal “enterprise.”

RICO carries up to 20 years per count, plus forfeiture of assets. The broad nature of the law means prosecutors have discretion on charges. We therefore need an aggressive stance challenging the enterprise’s existence, your role in it, and preventing asset seizures.

A key RICO defense relates to the “enterprise” itself – the organization facilitating crimes. If activities were sporadic vs an organized structure, that defeats enterprise charges. We also examine your specific role. Merely being associated with criminals is insufficient; you must have actively furthered the enterprise. These nuances provide openings to defeat the charges.

Federal Defense Strategy

Fighting federal indictments requires a holistic defense coordinating private investigators, forensic specialists, and other resources. Thorough investigation of the allegations allows identifying contradictory testimony, procedural mistakes by law enforcement, and other opportunities to undermine the prosecution’s case.

While preparing your defense, we also initiate dialogue with prosecutors regarding potential plea deals or cooperation. Depending on the case details, admitting guilt in exchange for a reduced sentence may be advisable over the uncertainty of trial. My relationships with prosecutors facilitate this negotiation.

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If unable to reach an acceptable plea agreement, we take the case to trial. My record includes many successful verdicts by highlighting investigative oversights, unreliable witnesses, lack of hard evidence, and other flaws in the prosecution’s presentation. I know how to tell your story effectively.

Ultimately my goal is always minimizing the charges against you and the resulting penalties. How we get there – plea deals, variances, or acquittals – depends on the circumstances, but I fight using every legal means possible. Reach out for a free case evaluation and see how I can put my experience to work.

I hope this gives a helpful overview of federal violent crime and RICO defenses in Philadelphia. Let me know if you have any other questions!