California Racketeering Laws under Penal Code Section 186.2, 186.3

What the California Law States about Racketeering

Racketeering is ranked among the most serious crimes that a person can be arrested for in California. People who are convicted of racketeering can spend the rest of their lives in prison and be subject to cruel forfeiture laws. Cases of racketeering are sometimes connected to massively organized crime rings that kill many people and commit uncountable crimes.

According to the California racketeering laws, racketeering is something that involves many different crimes, including drug trafficking, embezzlement, slavery, fraud, money laundering, mob or gang activity, kidnapping, gambling, bribery, and homicide. Most crimes connected to racketeering refer to illegal schemes for money. In California courts, prosecutors have a requirement to prove that a defendant engaged in a pattern or two or more racketeering activities.

California law follows in hand the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act, which was formed by the federal government in 1970 to combat criminal activities like racketeering. California racketeering laws state that violation of the provisions of the federal racketeering law could lead to a prison sentence of up to 20 years per infraction, on top of hefty fines and restitution penalties.

A defendant can face life imprisonment if the conviction contains a racketeering activity that is eligible for a maximum penalty of a life sentence. According to the California law, a person who faces prison time for racketeering may or may not be eligible for early release, but this depends on the individual situation.

The minimum prison sentence for racketeering in California is 30 to 37 months in prison. California courts might assign this lighter sentence to a defendant with no significant prior record, depending on the details of the case.

In addition to a prison sentence, a person facing a conviction for racketeering under RICO may have to pay fines of up to $25,000 per racketeering count. A defendant also has to forfeit any money, assets, possessions, or interests in a business they obtained through racketeering activities. California courts may also order restitution payments that a defendant will need to pay the victim of any racketeering activities. The law also allows a racketeering victim to file a civil racketeering claim against the defendant in pursuit of any additional damages. 


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