Even if you aren’t in the mafia, you can still be charged with engaging in organized criminal activity. In Texas, you can be arrested for engaging in organized criminal activity, simply because it’s alleged that you acted in concert with other people to commit any of a number of different crimes. For example,
if you are accused of shoplifting a $75 necklace at Target, you would simply be charged with the offense of theft over $50. However, if it’s alleged that an accomplice, with your knowledge, placed the necklace inside your purse, and you left the store without paying for it, both you and your friend could be charged with engaging in organized criminal activity.
In most cases, the seriousness of any allegation involving engaging in organized crime is determined by the nature of the underlying charge, in that the engaging in organized crime charge is typically one degree of seriousness above that with which you would have been charged, were it not alleged that you were engaging in organized crime. For example, in the above example involving theft of a necklace, you would likely have been charged with the class B misdemeanor offense of theft greater than $50. Under these facts, when alleged to have acted to steal the necklace with your friend’s help, both of you could be charged with a class A misdemeanor charge of engaging in organized criminal activity.
Finally, you can be charged with engaging in organized criminal activity, even if you simply conspired to commit a criminal act that you never actually carried out. For example, if you and your friend planned to steal a necklace from Target in the manner described above, but didn’t follow through, it’s possible you could be charged with engaging in organized crime. However, because you never followed through, you would be charged with a class B misdemeanor allegation of engaging in organized, in that the law regarding conspiracy to engage in organized crime provides that you be charged with an offense of the same level of seriousnes with which you would have been charged had you acted alone, but successfully completed the criminal act.