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Racketeering: What Does it Mean in Arizona Law?

While racketeering is a federal offense, the state of Arizona also has its own laws against the crime.

Racketeering is a federal offense and prosecuted on the federal level. However, the state of Arizona broadens the definition to a broader meaning. Racketeering applies to many things in Arizona. Racketeering is operating an enterprise illegally. More specifically, A.R.S 13-2301 defines racketeering as:

  • Money laundering
  • Asserting false claims through fraud
  • The counterfeiting of marks
  • The resale of real estate with fraudulent intents through an enterprise
  • Reckless fraud during the sale or purchase of securities
  • Reckless sale of unregistered securities
  • False statements in publications about land for sale or lease.

In addition, racketeering encompasses blue-collar crimes, such as extortion, bribery, forgery, prostitution, terrorism, human trafficking and more. All of these crimes are done to get financial gain and are considered racketeering.

The Consequences of Racketeering

The consequences of racketeering can be very serious. Those who illegally operate an enterprise can be faced with a Class 3 felony. A Class 3 felony comes with a minimum prison sentence of two years and a maximum of approximately eight years in prison. Whether it’s participation directly or indirectly in racketeering, it’s still a crime. Aggravating circumstances can increase the prison sentence, too. For example, hiring a minor to participate in racketeering will add Class 2 felony charges. The minimum sentence for this is three years in prison and could go up to over 12 years. Plus, there’s no pardon, suspension or probation.

Racketeering is a serious offense with serious consequences. This is why it’s very important to get an experienced criminal defense lawyer quickly. An experienced criminal defense lawyer will be able to develop a strong defense strategy and argument against the charges. Often, a viable defense strategy will include the fact that no financial gains were involved. The sanctions can tally up, and a criminal defense lawyer will address all of them. And even if a criminal defense lawyer is unable to dispute the racketeering charges, they can often get the prison sentence reduced. It’s important to note that all involved in charges of racketeering should cooperate with authorities. This may lead to some leniency in sentencing.

In sum, the definition of racketeering in the state of Arizona is quite broad. An experienced criminal defense attorney will be very knowledgeable of its applications and use that knowledge to protect the best interests of the person charged.