In California, extortion, also frequently referred to as blackmail, is governed by Penal Codes 518 and 527. Many people mistakenly believe that extortion is a threat, however this is not the case. Extortion occurs only when the individual who makes a threat has something to gain, such as money or property. For instance, threatening a friend that you will reveal an affair to his or her spouse is simply a threat; threatening to tell the spouse if the friend does not pay you $5,000 is extortion.
As highly skilled Los Angeles criminal defense attorneys, we realize there are many times an innocent person is accused of or arrested for allegedly committing extortion, or blackmail. An individual may truthfully believe that he or she has a right to property, then threaten someone else regarding that property in a fearful or forceful manner. This may be construed as extortion, leaving the person who made the threat facing criminal charges. At The Justice Firm, we realize the seriousness of being charged with a crime; our goal is to protect you from potential jail/prison time, and provide you with unsurpassed defense should your case go to trial.Extortion Laws in California
You may only be convicted of extortion according to California law when:
- You compel someone to give you money or property using force or threats
- You compel a public officer to perform an official act using force or threats
- You are a public official and use that position to compel someone else to give you property or money under color of official right
Further, California Penal Code 518 considers extortionist threats as:
- Targeting a person and threatening to accuse that person or his/her relatives of a crime
- Threatening to injure a person's property
- Threatening to connect a targeted person or that person's relatives with a disgrace, crime, or deformity
- Threatening to reveal a secret about a targeted person which will adversely affect that individual or his/her relatives
As trusted defense lawyers across southern California, we know the true impact of an arrest and conviction on an individual's life. Not only may you face jail/prison time and substantial fines, the negative impact to your career and reputation are substantial. Being accused of a crime is nothing to be taken lightly, as many aspects of your life are in jeopardy. We urge you to contact The Justice Firm now for outstanding criminal defense; we will fight vigorously to protect your legal rights and freedom.Criminal Penalties for Extortion in LA
As mentioned previously, the criminal penalties for a conviction of extortion are harsh. Depending on your situation, penalties may include jail/prison time, steep fines, parole, probation, restitution to the victim, and more. The punishment you are subject to will depend on the seriousness of the offense, and whether you have a prior criminal record. Generally speaking, you may be sentenced to 2, 3, or 4 years in state prison. Attempted extortion is also a crime, even when not carried through; this criminal offense may leave you facing up to one year in county jail.Contact The Justice Firm Today
Whether you have been charged with extortion or are under investigation it is important to obtain legal guidance right away. The Los Angeles extortion defense attorneys at The Justice Firm have the skill, experience, and dedicated approach essential to protecting you from a conviction and serious criminal penalties. Contact us today, or call for a free consultation at 310-914-2444.