Also known as blackmail, extortion is one of the numerous white-collar crimes that can result in fines, imprisonment, and loss of professional licenses. It can seem as though there is no way out of the charge but the fact is that the prosecution has a high burden of proof they must meet. Keep reading to find out what they must prove and how we can help you. Then reach out to Chambers Law Firm at 855-397-0210 for a consultation.
First: The Definition of Extortion
Before we get into ways in which we can defend you, let us consider what the state considers extortion to be. It is defined as “using force or threats to compel another person to give you money or other property.” It can also include doing the same to compel a public officer to perform an official act, or, for public officials, attempting to persuade someone else to give you money or property in exchange for something else. In most cases, extortion is a felony in California.
The Prosecution Has Three Elements to Prove
In order for you to be convicted, the prosecutor is required to prove three things:
- That you threatened or otherwise illegally injured a person, threated to accuse them of a crime, or threatened to expose a secret of theirs; and
- When you made the threat in question, you had the intent to use that fear to obtain consent, money, or property from the person, or to have them perform an official act for you; and
- That as a result of these acts, the person did in fact consent to your demands and compiled with them.
If you have been accused of extortion we do not have to prove that all three of these are false – we only need to prove that one of them is not true.
There Are a Number of Ways We May Defend You Against Extortion Charges
Depending on the facts of your case, we may work to show that one or more of the elements are not true. For example, we could show that you did not threaten the person. We may show that you did indeed threaten the person but that you did not have the consent to get anything from them. We may show that you threatened them with intent but that the other party did not consent and/or comply with your demands.
Of course, we may simply show that you did none of the above. We may work to show that the evidence against you was not lawfully obtained and therefore should not be legally used against you. If there is a mountain of evidence, we may work to find the most advantageous plea deal. One thing is certain: If you work with Chambers Law Firm you can count on us providing the best possible defense for you.