Extortion is a white collar crime that is closely related to robbery. In order to be indicted on charges of extortion, the offender must have obtained–or sought to obtain–money or property from the victim illegally through the use of:

  • Force
  • Threats
  • Blackmail
  • Ransom
  • Fear
  • Abuse of power

The main difference is that during robbery, force is used to take the victim’s belongings. During extortion, the victim agrees to give up their money or property in order to avoid any of these threatened consequences. If you have been charged with extortion, The Cochran Firm Criminal Defense attorneys are experienced in defending your type of case.

What Actions May Qualify as Extortion?

It is possible to be charged with extortion if you have not accepted any money or property. Existing records that show you have threatened to take some form of action against another person if they do not comply with your requests are enough to warrant an extortion charge. Even if no goods or services have exchanged hands, the proof of intent is enough to qualify your actions as criminal behavior.

In an extortion case, threats do not always need to be of a physical nature. Threats against a person’s family constitute extortion. Also, the threat of exposing a devastating secret to a spouse or an employer is a form of extortion. Any threat that jeopardizes the victim’s business or reputation through damaging testimony is also considered to be extortion. Police officers or government officials may be guilty of extortion if an excessive amount of money is collected in exchange for refraining from damaging testimony or legal action.

Consequences of Extortion

The consequences of being convicted of extortion may include any combination of the following sentences:

  • Imprisonment
  • Parole
  • Probation
  • Inability to be bonded
  • Payment of restitution
  • Court ordered counseling
  • Payment of significant fines

There are several factors that play a part in determining the consequences for your individual actions. If you have had prior convictions similar to the extortion charge, your punishment will be more severe. Also, if you have any prior convictions, are currently on parole for another violation, your penalty may increase. There may also be other mitigating or aggravating circumstances surrounding your individual case. The attitude of the surrounding community and court system toward this type of crime and the amount of attention the media has given to your case may also affect the outcome.

In order to provide you with the best possible criminal defense available, yourCochran Firm Criminal Defense team may attempt to prove that the evidence against you is insufficient, that you are the true owner of the money or property in question or that the evidence surrounding the case proves your factual innocence. If you have been charged with extortion or any other white collar crime, please schedule an extortion defense consultation today.