When you think of extortion, you probably think of an old mob movie, where the mobsters offer ‘protection’ to local businesses in return for a cut of their profits. Although extortion can take many different forms, the old-school mob movie narrative is actually pretty accurate. Extortion traditionally deals with a person attempting to obtain money, goods or property by threatening another person. Extortion is considered at type of white-collar crime, and is typically a felony. If you’re facing extortion charges or any other type of white-collar criminal charges, you need to speak with a lawyer as soon as possible about your case.
The Elements of Extortion
White-collar crime is a term coined in association with crimes that are typically financial in nature that involve professional white-collar workers. These aren’t violent street crimes, although sometimes they do lead to violence. A white-collar crime like extortion is usually committed for some type of on-going financial gain. It could also involve property, real estate or an agreement to participate in sweetheart deals or involve professional licensing. Although white-collar crimes are not typically violent in nature, this particular one is almost always associated with some type of real threat of violence.
Public Officials and Private Citizens
Extortion can occur in both the public and private sector. It’s not uncommon to see bribing or attempted bribing of public officials in extortion cases. Also, there can be a trade or attempted extortion on items like liquor licenses, contracting deals, debts, tangible goods and other types of licenses. Any time a person attempts to get some type of property, good or financial gain through threat and intimidation, that can be considered extortion. People can also be extorted of the threat of information leaks. Any time a person is threatened or forced under a real threat to provide something that they ordinarily wouldn’t, you could be looking at a extortion case.
With the increase in technological innovations online, we’re also seeing an increase in computer crimes involving extortion. Although not gone are the days of the old mobster movie style of extortion and intimidation, we’re seeing more and more frequently cases of extortion by phone, text and email. The more people are communicating on their electronic devices, the more likely we are to see these cases transform and change to fit the technological landscape.
No matter what kind of white-collar criminal charges your facing, you and your lawyer can get to work on your defense as soon as possible. Listed below are some examples of extortion defenses.
Defense to Extortion Examples
- Insufficient evidence
- Evidence that intimidate or coercion was not used as a means to get goods or money from the other person
- Demonstrating that the so-called coercion was actually legitimate business
- Showing that the other person involved has some kind of ulterior motive in implicating your for extortion
Penalties for Extortion
In most cases, extortion is a felony offense. This means that you could be facing extensive fines and a minimum of one year in prison, if convicted. Your fines could be as much as $10,000 for each conviction. You might also have to pay restitution to the victim and his or her family members. Prison sentences could be up to 15 years or more, depending upon the details of your particular case. In some cases, probation may be an option. Talk to your lawyer about potential penalties associated with the particular charges you’re facing.
Local, state and federal law enforcement agencies are cracking down on white-collar crimes like extortion like never before. Communities want to see people convicted of financial crimes punished severely, so you need to get the ball rolling on your defense as soon as possible. After any kind of white-collar crime arrest, your first priority needs to be speaking with an experienced criminal defense attorney. Don’t talk to the authorities about your case until your attorney is present. You and your attorney can discuss case strategy and possible outcomes based on the evidence in your case. Ultimately, your lawyer’s top priority needs to be your freedom and your future.
If you have been arrested or if a loved one has been charged with extortion or some other type of white-collar crime in the Jackson Metro Area or in any of the surrounding communities, contact the skilled and proven team at Coxwell & Associates, PLLC at (601) 265-7766 for an immediate case consultation.
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