The Law Against Extortion
Most of us know the term ‘blackmail’ and it is often used in everyday language. While the term can be used in normal conversations, the act of blackmail is a serious criminal offense in California. Known within the criminal code as extortion, a person found guilty of the crime faces a felony conviction. If you want to know more about the legal elements and penalties for extortion, keep reading further. If you are involved in an extortion case or have been accused of extortion, we highly encourage you to reach out to us at Law Advocates Group. An experienced criminal lawyer can help you through the legal process.
The Legal Elements of Extortion
According to California Penal Code Section 518, extortion is defined as the use of force or threats against a person such that the person is coerced into providing money or property assets. The crime also applies in scenarios when officers are forced to perform an official act. The prosecutor must prove that the defendant actually had the intention of committing extortion. Furthermore, the defendant must have threatened to injure the victim, wrongfully accuse them of a crime, or reveal a secret for the sole purpose of receiving money or assets in return. Due to the use of force or threats, the victim must have been pressured into providing the aforementioned and fully did so.
Penalties Following Conviction
If the defendant is found guilty, they receive a felony conviction. This conviction can result in a prison sentence of up to four years and the payment of fines. As such, if you have been falsely accused of extortion, reach out to us immediately. Depending on each person’s circumstances and the facts of the case, it is possible to create a strong defense and fight back against extortion accusations.