Many people are familiar with the concept of extortion as a result of exposure to mobster movies. A criminal offering to “protect” a business in exchange for a monthly payment is, in reality, an unspoken threat: pay me or I destroy your business. This is a classic example of extortion.
However, it’s not the only example of extortion. This crime can take many forms. And prosecutors are seldom reluctant to press a charge.
The Cochran Firm’s criminal defense lawyers have seen how prosecutors attempt to prove extortion charges. We know what qualifies as extortion and what does not. And we know how to represent you if you’ve been charged with this serious crime.
If you’ve been charged with a serious crime, an experienced criminal defense lawyer is a necessity. Please call The Cochran Firm today at 1-800-843-3476 for a free consultation.
What is Extortion?
At its most basic, it is the illegally coerced acquisition of property, money or favors. That coercion can take many forms. In the case of the classic protection shakedown scheme described above, the coercion is the threat (or even reality) of violence.
This type of case is often grouped with white collar crimes, however, because the coercion does not need to be violent in nature. Blackmail is the other famous form of extortion, and it revolves not around the threat of violence but instead the threat of disclosure.
Public corruption is another form of extortion. A public official who demands a bribe in exchange for the performance of duty or the approval of a request is engaged in extortion.
Furthermore, extortion can be either a state or federal crime. Committing extortion as part of a computer crime is a federal offense.
These charges are serious. There will inevitably be serious fines associated with an extortion charge, and a lengthy prison sentence is quite likely as well (if convicted). Fortunately, The Cochran Firm’s criminal defense lawyers are equipped to provide you with a vigorous defense.
Some common defenses for this type of case include:
- Insufficient evidence
- Proof that the person alleging extortion has an ulterior motive; the charge itself can be a form of blackmail
- Evidence that the person alleging extortion gave you the money or property at issue as a result of some other dynamic beyond coercion
- Demonstrating that the so-called extortion was actually a legitimate business tactic; it’s not extortion, for example, to say that you will only accept a project if you are paid a certain amount of money
Ultimately, the right defense will be determined by the specific nature of the accusations and the facts of the case. You can trust in our criminal defense lawyers’ knowledge of case law and experience to find the right argument.
If you’re facing an extortion charge, our criminal defense lawyers should be your first call. Please contact The Cochran Firm today for a free consultation.