Extortion occurs when a person threatens another individual to receive money, goods, or services in exchange for not carrying out the threat. The offender uses some sort of leverage to induce an individual to cooperate, such as threatening to inflict physical harm, release secret information or information harmful to a person’s reputation, or accuse the person of a crime.
To be charged with extortion, an offender does not have to intend to carry out a threat if the threatened individual does not cooperate. The offender simply has to make a threat and demand compensation in exchange for not carrying it out. If there is evidence that you have attempted to manipulate someone through fear, you may be arrested on extortion charges. The person you threatened may go directly to the police and may falsely agree to your demands so that police can catch you in the act of accepting compensation.
As a felony crime, an extortion conviction includes a number of possible penalties, including:
Jail sentence: Up to 4 years
Heavy fines: $10,000 or more
Restitution for money, goods, or services
In addition to these penalties, you will also have a felony on your criminal record. If you have committed crimes in the past, your punishment may be more severe than what is detailed above. If you have no previous criminal history, you may still face harsh punishment that can affect you personally and professionally for the rest of your life.
Don’t enter the courtroom feeling unprepared to defend against the charges that you face. For sound legal advice and assistance with your extortion charges, contact the experienced criminal defense lawyers.