In an attempt to eradicate organized crime in our state, the Colorado legislature passed the Colorado Organized Crime Control Act, or COCCA Colorado.
(There is also a federal Organized Crime Control Act, which was signed under Nixon in October of 1970.)
The COCCA in Colorado prohibits certain criminal activities, and also spells out harsh defenses should any of the prohibited crimes be committed.
If you are facing charges under the Colorado Organized Crime Control Act, you need a skilled Colorado criminal defense lawyer on your side who is familiar with the COCCA and knows how to build your defense. Reach our team at the office of Miller Leonard, PC today to get started.
Activities Prohibited Under the Colorado Organized Crime Control Act
The crime control act is found in Title 18, Article 17 of the Colorado Revised Statutes; prohibited activities are listed in CRS Section 18-17-104. These activities include:
- Investing money that is received from any proceeds derived, either directly or indirectly, from racketeering or through the collection of unlawful debt;
- Maintaining or acquiring interest or control in real property from the collection of unlawful debt or racketeering activity;
- Knowingly conducting or participating in a pattern of racketeering or the collection of unlawful debt.
Because the statute speaks to activities that are associated with the collection of “unlawful debt,” various other criminal acts are referenced without being specifically stated, such as gambling, loan-sharking, resale or receipt of stolen property, and drug dealing.
Racketeering is also a broad term that speaks to numerous different activities. Typically, racketeering refers to crimes that are committed via extortion or coercion, and which are associated with organized crime.
Criminal Penalties Under the Colorado Organized Crime Control Act
Criminal penalties for a violation of the Colorado Organized Crime Control Act are found in CRS Section 18-17-105. Under this statute, a person who is found guilty of a violation of the COCCA Colorado will be guilty of a Class 2 felony offense, and will be required to pay a fine of up to $25,000, as well as forfeit to the state any interests or proceeds acquired as a result of the violation. These penalties are in addition to the traditional penalties which are assessed for a Class 2 felony in our state, which include:
- Eight to 24 years of incarceration (plus one year of parole); and
- A fine of between $5,000 and $1 million.
Note that in addition to facing criminal charges in Colorado, racketeering is also a federal offense. As such, you may also face federal criminal charges depending upon the scope and the severity of crime with which you’ve been accused of committing.
Defenses to Crimes Under the COCCA Colorado
If you have been charged with a racketeering-related crime that is listed under the Colorado Organized Crime Control Act, you need to hire an experienced lawyer immediately. An attorney will explain the criminal charges that you are facing, as well as the potential penalties, in depth. What’s more, your attorney can also explore various defenses that may be available to you, including having evidence against you withdrawn due to illegal collection of the evidence, entrapment, and other violations.
Other defenses that may be available include proving that you lacked criminal intent, that a criminal enterprise did not exist, or that you were unaware that you were participating in racketeering. Of course, these are not the only defenses available – your lawyer will build your case and your defense based on the circumstances that are specific to you.
Call Our Colorado COCCA Defense Attorney Today
Facing felony charges and a conviction could change your life, resulting in decades of incarceration and a fine that you are unable to pay. In order to mitigate the most severe sentence and perhaps avoid a conviction, you need an aggressive, knowledgeable Colorado defense attorney on your side. Our legal team at the office of Miler Leonard, PC is ready to serve you. Please call us today to learn how we can help.