Engaging in Organized Crime in Fort Worth

Engaging in organized crime in Texas refers to participating in activities that involve three or more persons collaborating to commit certain criminal offenses. This definition is based on the Texas Penal Code, specifically the “Engaging in Organized Criminal Activity” statute. The law aims to combat the collaboration of individuals in committing crimes, which typically includes but is not limited to activities such as drug trafficking, illegal gambling, theft, and murder.

Engaging in Organized Crime, Generally

Engaging in Organized Crime in Fort Worth is laid out in Section 71.02 of the Penal Code. Depending on the criminal activity that is alleged, this offense can be alleged as a State Jail Felony all the up to a capital felony offense in Texas.

Generally, these cases allege that the individual accused, with the intent to establish, maintain or participate in the profits of a combination or as a member of a criminal street gang, committed a particular offense. There are currently over 3,300 individuals in Texas prisons after being convicted of this offense, 92% of whom are men.

What is a Combination?

“Combination” means three or more persons who collaborate in carrying on criminal activities. The criminal activity must involve three or more persons. This means an individual can be charged with this offense if they work with at least two others to commit a crime.

What are Profits?

“Profits” means property constituting or derived from any proceeds obtained, directly or indirectly, from an offense listed in Section 71.02.

What is a Criminal Street Gang?

“Criminal street gang” means three or more persons having a common identifying sign or symbol or an identifiable leadership who continuously or regularly associate in the commission of criminal activities.

what crimes qualify as EEOC

What offenses can be enhanced as Engaging in Organized Crime? 

The specific offenses that can constitute engaging in organized criminal activity include, but are not limited to:

  1. Assaultive Offenses: This includes serious bodily injury to another, aggravated assault, and sexual assault.

  2. Murder and Manslaughter: Homicide offenses fall under this category.

  3. Kidnapping and Unlawful Restraint: These crimes involve illegally seizing and detaining a person.

  4. Robbery: This includes both robbery and aggravated robbery.

  5. Arson: Illegally burning or bombing property.

  6. Burglary and Criminal Trespass: Unauthorized entry into a building or property with the intent to commit a felony, theft, or assault.

  7. Theft and Related Offenses: This includes theft, aggravated theft, and receiving or concealing stolen property.

  8. Controlled Substance Offenses: Manufacturing, delivering, or possessing with intent to deliver controlled substances. Drug trafficking often falls under this category.

  9. Illegal Gambling: Organizing or participating in earnings from gambling activities.

  10. Prostitution and Related Offenses: This includes promotion of prostitution, aggravated promotion of prostitution, and compelling prostitution.

  11. Weapons Offenses: Unlawful manufacture, transport, repair, or sale of firearms or prohibited weapons.

  12. Money Laundering: The process of concealing the origins of illegally obtained money.

  13. Credit Card or Debit Card Abuse: Illegal use of credit or debit cards or the information thereof.

  14. Forgery and Fraudulent Practices: This includes forging checks, documents, or committing various types of fraud.

  15. Child Pornography: Distribution or possession of child pornography.

  16. Certain Computer Crimes: Crimes involving the use of technology or the internet, like hacking or cyber fraud.

Engaging in Organized Crime

Penal Code Section 71.02 sets out the elements for Engaging in Organized Crime in Texas. When the State alleges a person Engaged in Organized Crime, they are essentially accusing the person of committing a criminal offense with the intent to establish, maintain, or participate in profits of a “combination” or “criminal street gang.”

A combination is defined as three or more persons who collaborate in carrying on criminal activities. A criminal street gang is defined as three or more persons who have a common identifying sign or symbol or identifiable leadership who continuously or regularly associate in the commission of criminal activities. Profits mean property derived from proceeds obtained directly or indirectly from organized criminal activity.

Engaging in organized criminal activity with the intent to commit capital murder alleges that a person with the intent to establish, maintain, or participate in profits as a member of a criminal street gang committed the offense.

What is the punishment for Engaging in Organized Crime in Fort Worth?

The penalty is generally one category higher than the standard penalty for the most serious offense committed. For example, if the underlying offense is a second-degree felony, that offense would become a first degree offense if alleged as Engaging in Organized Crime.

One of our recent clients was one of the Waco bikers who was arrested for Engaging in Organized Crime. We are pleased to report that after a prolonged battle, the charges against our client were ultimately dismissed.

what is engaging in organized crime

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About the Author Board Certified Lawyer Benson Varghese

About the Author

Benson Varghese is the managing partner of Varghese Summersett. He is a seasoned attorney, highly esteemed for his comprehensive knowledge and expertise in the field. He has successfully handled thousands of state and federal cases, ranging from misdemeanor driving while intoxicated cases to capital offenses, showcasing his commitment to preserving justice and upholding the rights of his clients. His firm covers criminal defense, personal injury, and family law matters. Benson is also a legal tech entrepreneur. Benson is a go-to authority in the legal community, known for his ability to explain complex legal concepts with clarity and precision. His writings offer a wealth of in-depth legal insights, reflecting his extensive experience and his passion for the law. Not only is Benson an accomplished litigator, but he is also a dedicated advocate for his clients, consistently striving to achieve the best possible outcomes for them. His authorship provides readers with valuable legal advice and an understanding of the complexities of the criminal justice system. CriminalPersonal InjuryFamily Law Contact
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