Honest Case Evaluations. Unyielding Legal Advocacy.

  1. Home
  2.  » 
  3. Violent Crimes
  4.  » What should I know about extortion?

What should I know about extortion?

On Behalf of | Feb 14, 2022 | Violent Crimes

It is easy to understand what most violent crimes are. They usually involve inflicting physical battery or outright killing another person. However, some violent offenses do not involve actual physical violence at all. Sometimes verbal threats can get you in trouble with the law. Extortion is one such example.

As defined by FindLaw, extortion happens if somebody acquires property or money from a person or business by levying a threat to use force or some other action that can cause harm. These acts can take a variety of forms.

Examples of extortion

In addition to a threat of physical harm, a person may intimidate somebody by threatening to harm the person’s reputation, damage the person’s property, or have the government commit some kind of adverse action against the person. Sometimes extortion takes the form of blackmail if an extortionist threatens to publicize damaging private information unless an individual cooperates.

There are also instances where an extortionist may offer a business owner protection against vandals or thieves in exchange for cash or goods. The implication is that the extortionist could unleash criminals on the business unless the owner gives in to the demands of the extortionist.

Extortion over different mediums

The law does not require you to make a verbal threat in person to find you guilty of extortion. You might run afoul of the law if you threaten someone through a telephone call, using a phone text, or through computer communication like email. Extortion charges may also rise to the level of a federal offense if you use interstate commerce as a part of the extortion.

Sometimes people get in trouble with the law because of a recent heated discussion in which they said something that came off to another person as a threat. You may need to figure out your legal options if you end up in a situation where someone misinterprets your words to constitute extortion.