Extortion is a white collar crime that is commonly known as blackmail. This crime occurs when someone threatens another individual in order to get him or her to do something, such as hand over money or other items of value. Extortion is categorized as a felony, which means that it can lead to very serious penalties and major damage to one’s criminal history.
These types of charges should not be taken lightly. If you have been accused of extortion, you can turn to our Virginia Beach criminal defense attorney, Jerrell R. Johnson, for the legal counsel you need. In addition to helping you set up a plan for fighting conviction, Attorney Johnson can also provide you with hard-hitting representation in the courtroom. Our Virginia Beach law firm, JRLaw is available to assist with city-level and state-level extortion cases.
Extortion can be carried out in many different ways. According to Virginia law (Code of Virginia §18.2-59), these are the types of threats that can be used to extort money or other property from victims:
The types of things that can be extorted from victims include money, property, financial benefits or evidence of a debt (such as a note or a bond). Extortion is a Class 5 felony, which carries a possible sentence of 1 to 10 years of imprisonment. In some cases, the jury or court may decide to limit the sentence to up to 1 year in jail or a fine of up to $2,500, or both incarceration and the fine.
At our law firm, we are dedicated to helping our clients avoid conviction. When a conviction and sentence are given, however, we fight to get our clients’ sentences reduced so that the damage from their convictions is minimized.
When challenging your charges, it might be possible to show that you never made a threat against the alleged victim or that the evidence of your threat is too weak to lead to a conviction. There are many people who make false extortion claims simply to get back at others. Another option is to show that you did make a threat, but not for the purpose of extorting something from another individual.
For example, you might have threatened to report someone for a crime without demanding anything in return. At our criminal defense law firm, we can sit down with you and discuss your various defense options.