Are You Accused of Extortion?

Help from a Santa Ana Criminal Defense Attorney

The white collar crime of extortion is essentially the act of blackmailing someone in order to obtain that person's property or to get that person to carry out a certain act, with his or her consent. This is done through wrongful force or wrongful threats that strike fear in the victim. In some cases, individuals use extortion in order to get public officials to carry out certain acts that are a part of their official duties. Convictions for extortion can lead to very harsh penalties, including years in prison. If you are facing these types of allegations in Santa Ana, California, make sure you get help from a capable Santa Ana criminal defense lawyer. Attorney Thomas Tears has extensive criminal law experience—he has handled thousands of criminal cases, so you can trust that your case is being handled by a knowledgeable legal professional.

What constitutes extortion?

California Penal Code §518-527 includes the statutes in this state that define the crime of extortion and its penalties. According to the statutes, threats that are considered as striking fear in someone (for the purposes of extortion) include the following:

  • Threats to accuse the victim or his or her relative of a crime
  • Threats to expose any crime, disgrace or deformity of the victim
  • Threat to expose any secrets of the victim or the victim or victims

Both verbal and written threats are recognized as forms of extortion under California law. In some extortion cases, physical force or fear is used to get someone to sign a document (such as a contract) that allows for a property to be transferred, or that allows for certain actions to be taken. In certain scenarios, a person can be charged with aggravated extortion charges if the alleged victim was an elderly or dependent person.

Extortion convictions can result in sentences of up to four years in prison, and the potential requirement to pay thousands of dollars in fines. These are serious criminal repercussions that you will need to protect yourself from. Contact us at Thomas Tears, Attorney at Law so we can help you take the most effective approach in challenging your charges!