While you don’t see cases of blackmail being prosecuted very often, it does happen from time to time. If you’ve been accused of blackmail, you need to have an experienced criminal defense lawyer on your side as soon as possible. If convicted, you could be facing stiff fines and a hefty prison sentence.

Blackmail AKA Extortion

Blackmail, which is also known as extortion, generally involves some sort of coercion and financial transaction. Money may or may not change hands, but one party typically asks for money in exchange for secrecy on a variety of matters. Every case is different, but traditionally, one person offers their secrecy for money. This type of case can happen in the workplace or it can involve domestic situations.

“White Collar” Crime

Blackmail is considered a type of “White Collar” crime, which means that it is usually committed in a non-violent manner which differs from more traditional common street crimes. We often think of the businessman, in a white collar, committing extortion, blackmail, bribery and other types of non-violent offenses in the workplace. It’s important to note that this doesn’t necessarily mean that prison time or penalties are any less severe than for other violent crimes and drug offenses. Blackmail cases can be incredibly complex, and in some situations, end up in federal court.

Examples of Blackmail

  • Threatening to make public a private matter unless the other party pays money.
  • Threatening to leak confidential information in exchange of money.
  • Offering to keep illegal business practices secret in exchange of goods or services.
  • Offering to keep quiet in exchange for a promotion at work.
  • Threatening to show incriminating pictures to one’s spouse in exchange for money.

Complex Nonviolent Criminal Cases

You might be under the misunderstanding that prosecutors go easy on white collar criminals, or because your crime was nonviolent, you wont have to do any jail time. Nothing could be further from the truth. State and federal prosecutors take white collar crimes very seriously, and you may or may not have to go to a medium security or higher federal facility, if convicted. Since these cases are so complex, the first thing you do after an arrest should be to contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer.

Federal Prosecution

In the worst case scenario, you could be facing federal prosecution. This makes your case that much more complex too. Federal court is much different than state court, and the prosecutors mean business. Depending upon the circumstances in your case, the amount of money involved and the evidence, you could be facing up to 20 years in prison.

Extensive Fines and Prison Time

If convicted of blackmail in Mississippi, you could be facing extensive fines and a lengthy prison sentence. In addition to possibly having to pay restitution to the victim, you could also be facing tens of thousands of dollars in fines. Don’t forget about probation or parole. On top of everything, you will have a damaging blackmail conviction on your record, which will most likely be a felony.

Life After a Felony Conviction

Many people think time served is the worst part of a felony conviction, but it can be just a difficult as life on the outside with a record. Blackmail is an especially heinous crime to have been convicted of, because it ruins your credibility. Nobody will want to trust you. You will probably not be able to go back into your old line of work, especially if it was in the financial sector. You will have trouble getting credit, finding a place to live and landing gainful employment. Your best chance is hiring a Jackson defense attorney who has white collar crime experience as soon as possible.

What About a Public Defender?

Public defenders are great. They work hard and deserve recognition, but they simply do not have the resources or time to devote to a person accused of blackmail. These cases are complex, difficult to defend and involve a lot of gray area. Additionally, it’s just not something that happens everyday, so your average public defender just may not be prepared to handle this type of case. When your freedom and future are on the line, go with the experienced choice.

When to Call a Defense Lawyer

Your lawyer’s top priority needs to be your innocence. He or she should be working night and day to get you cleared of all charges. If you or a loved one is facing blackmail charges, contact the skilled team at Coxwell & Associates, PLLC at (601) 265-7766 for a case consultation today.


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