Extortion occurs when someone tries to obtain property or money by threatening to commit violence, accuses the victim of a crime and reveals damaging or private information about the victim. It doesn´t sound that dangerous right, but the sad part is that this crime is usually punished as a felony offense. Traditionally, the criminal offense of extortion covered only actions by public or government officials, but today the crime applies to actions by private citizens as well. If you have been charged with this offense in Long Beach CA and you can´t afford the full amount of bail, take a look at this website.
Here are the elements of extortion you must know about
Extortion is based upon some threat. The person that makes the threat must state an intention to commit and injury o serious action against the victim. A person can commit the threat verbally, in writing, other types of communications and even through non-verbal gestures.
Someone commits extortion making a threat with the intent of forcing the victim to provide money, property or something of value. In other words, the prosecutor can prove that the defendant tried to deprived the victim without having to show what was going on in the head of the accused.
When a person makes a threat or attempts extortion, the threat itself must cause fear on the victim. The fear could be based on almost anything such as the fear of economic loss, violence, deportation, social stigma or anything else that might cause the victim to act or hand over property.
The property doesn´t need to be a physical property; it can be a property that doesn´t have a dollar value. The court has held that the property involved in extortion can include features as tangible goods, cash, liquor licenses, debts, and agreements not to compete in business.
Penalties for extortion convictions
Fines: Fines for extortion may vary, but it can be as much as $10,000 or more for each offense.
Restitution: A person convicted of extortion will have to pay restitution to the victim, especially when the victim has been deprived of valuable property.
Incarceration: Jail sentences for incarceration can be severe. State laws allow for prison sentences of 15 years or more for each extortion attempt.
Probation: Courts may also impose probation sentences for extortion convictions. Probation sentences usually last for 12 months, or more can include a fine and require that the convicted person complies with specific terms imposed by the court such as not contact the victim or get a job. If you fail to comply with probation terms will result in having to serve a prison sentence.
Extortion can be a serious crime, and it can lead to a significant loss of freedom if you get convicted of this offense. If you are facing an extortion charge, it is recommended to get professional assessment whether you hire a bail bond agent or a criminal defense attorney, both are going to be valuable help to solve your situation. This video could help you understand better all the factors that extortion implies.