Extortion consists of obtaining property from another person through force or intimidation. In order to constitute extortion, the person must actually obtain property or the right to acquire the property from the victim. The exception to this is if the threat is made in writing.
There are several types of threats that can be made to constitute extortion:
Threat to do an unlawful injury. If a person threatens bodily harm to another to obtain property that person has committed extortion, irrespective of the person's right to possession of the property demanded
Threat to accuse of a crime. The threat to accuse an individual, or his or her relative or family member, of a crime, can constitute extortion.
Threat to expose or to impute to the victim any deformity, disgrace, or crime. This is a broad category, perhaps intended to be used as a catch-all for situations in which the other categories of threats are not applicable.
Threat to expose the victim's secret. The secret must be unknown to the general public, or to some particular part of it who might be interested in obtaining knowledge of the secret. (Reference: http://articles.latimes.com/2012/)
Extortion is a felony, and may be punishable by imprisonment in state prison for two, three, or four years. Attempted extortion can be filed as either a felony, punishable by 16 months, or two or three years in prison or as a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail.
Many times an experienced criminal defense lawyer can find various options for a person charged with extortion that does not involve doing jail time. If you or someone you love has been charged with this crime, it is crucial that you retain a Van Nuys extortion lawyer as soon as possible. Contact the Sigal Law Group today for a free consultation and case analysis.