The Hobbs Act

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Jason B. Freeman

Jason B. Freeman

Managing Member


Mr. Freeman is the founding member of Freeman Law, PLLC. He is a dual-credentialed attorney-CPA, author, law professor, and trial attorney.

Mr. Freeman has been named by Chambers & Partners as among the leading tax and litigation attorneys in the United States and to U.S. News and World Report’s Best Lawyers in America list. He is a former recipient of the American Bar Association’s “On the Rise – Top 40 Young Lawyers” in America award. Mr. Freeman was named the “Leading Tax Controversy Litigation Attorney of the Year” for the State of Texas for 2019 and 2020 by AI.

Mr. Freeman has been recognized multiple times by D Magazine, a D Magazine Partner service, as one of the Best Lawyers in Dallas, and as a Super Lawyer by Super Lawyers, a Thomson Reuters service. He has previously been recognized by Super Lawyers as a Top 100 Up-And-Coming Attorney in Texas.

Mr. Freeman currently serves as the chairman of the Texas Society of CPAs (TXCPA). He is a former chairman of the Dallas Society of CPAs (TXCPA-Dallas). Mr. Freeman also served multiple terms as the President of the North Texas chapter of the American Academy of Attorney-CPAs. He has been previously recognized as the Young CPA of the Year in the State of Texas (an award given to only one CPA in the state of Texas under 40).

Defending a Hobbs Act Violation — 18 U.S.C § 1951

The Hobbs Act, codified at 18 U.S.C § 1951, is a federal law that was enacted in 1946. It was originally used to curtail racketeering in labor disputes, which was a common phenomenon at that time.

Today, the Hobbs Act is commonly used by federal prosecutors to target public corruption, street gangs, commercial disputes, and union corruption. It increases the penalties associated with the criminal offenses of robbery and extortion, are any attempt to commit these crimes when they affect or impede interstate or foreign commerce in “any way or degree.”

What is a Hobbs Act Violation?

18 U.S.C § 1951 makes it a federal crime to affect interstate commerce in any way or degree by engaging in any of the following criminal offenses:

What Must Be Proven to Convict You of Violating The Hobbs Act?

To convict a defendant of violating the Hobbs Act, the government is not required to prove that the defendant intended to affect interstate commerce, or that he knew that his actions would affect interstate commerce—or even that interstate commerce was actually affected. Federal prosecutors only need to prove that the natural consequences of the offense would be an effect on interstate commerce, however slight.

Penalties for a Hobbs Act Violation

A Hobbs Act violation carries stringent criminal penalties. Each violation carries the potential for a severe financial penalty and up to 20 years in a federal prison, or both. This is in addition to the penalties for the underlying extortion or robbery charge.

Defending a Hobbs Act Violation

There are several potential strategies a skilled white-collar defense attorney may use to address a Hobbs Act charge, including the following:

Federal cases can present unique challenges.  Federal prosecutors may use investigative techniques such as wiretaps, video surveillance, and cooperating witnesses. Often federal investigators have been pursuing the case against a defendant for years by the time they are charged. To defend against these types of charges, you need an insightful strategy and a white-collar criminal defense team with experience handling complex federal cases and that will protect your rights.


White Collar Defense Attorneys

Freeman Law represents companies, executives, and individuals in regulatory and white-collar government investigations and prosecutions. We employ a proactive approach to defend vigorously and strategically position our clients. White-collar matters often involve parallel regulatory and civil proceedings. Freeman Law can navigate the complexities and collateral consequences of multiple proceedings. And when it comes to the court of public opinion, we employ ethical and strategic tactics to manage publicity. Schedule a consultation or call (214) 984-3000 to discuss your allegations and investigations concerns.