California Penal Code Section 518: Extortion can be used to prosecute the act we commonly refer to as “blackmail.” Individuals may be charged with extortion if they try to get someone else to do what they want by threatening them in some way.
You can dig deeper into the legal applications of extortion charges with the Simmrin Law Group. Get information about the results of a conviction for blackmail and some of the legal defenses used to handle extortion accusations in California right here.
Defining Extortion in the State of California
Individuals may be charged with extortion under PC 518 if they threaten another individual in order to get their way. This charge can apply if an individual threatens:
- To Harm Another Person
- To Blame Another Person for a Criminal Act
- To Reveal Another Person’s Secret
Individuals can also be charged with extortion for the actual use of force. Extortion charges can be brought if someone uses these threats or direct force to get another person to:
- Give Their Consent
- Offer Money or Property
- Perform an Official Act
Extortion charges should only apply if the threatened individual agrees to the demands of the extortioner and then performs the actions requested.
Going Over Charges Like Extortion in California
The court system in California has a number of charges that are very similar to extortion. For example, individuals could be charged with bribery if they offer someone money or goods in order to get an individual to do what they want. Bribery charges in California can include:
- California Penal Code Section 67 & 68: Bribery Of Or By An Executive Officer Or Public Employee
- California Penal Code Section 85 & 86: Bribery Of Or By Legislators
- California Penal Code Section 92 & 93: Bribery Of Judges And Jurors
- California Penal Code Section 137 & 138: Bribery of or by Witnesses
- California Penal Code Section 337b: Bribing Player/Participant to Throw a Sporting Event
Note that, in cases involving bribery, both the person offering the bribe and the individual accepting the bribe can face criminal charges.
You should also be aware that, depending upon the amount of force used for an act of extortion or blackmail, individuals could face charges for assault or battery. These violent crimes are generally punished harshly by courts throughout California.
Reviewing the Penalties for Extortion
Extortion – or blackmail – can be prosecuted as a felony in the court system in California. There are a number of serious penalties for an extortion conviction. These penalties can include:
- Fines of Up to $10,000
- Jail Time of Up to Four Years
Attempted Extortion Penalties
We mentioned earlier that individuals should only be charged with extortion if they succeed in getting their victims to do what they want. However, this does not mean that attempted acts of extortion will not be punished. In fact, attempted extortion can result in:
- Fines of Up to $10,000
- Jail Time of Up to Three Years
As you can see, even attempted extortion can result in serious penalties.
Focusing on Defenses for Extortion Accusations
You can end up facing high fines and years of time behind bars if you are convicted of extortion in California. Fortunately, you can get help building a strong case by contacting a criminal defense lawyer in Los Angeles as soon as you are arrested. Your lawyer could be able to defend you by demonstrating that:
You Were Falsely Accused of Extortion
Extortion charges often come down to he said – she said situations. It’s easy for someone to claim that you attempted extortion, even if you are completely innocent. Go over the situation you are facing with a criminal defense lawyer to increase the odds of resolving this situation in your favor.
The Individual Didn’t Perform the Act You Wanted
We mentioned earlier that extortion only occurs if you force someone to do what you want through threats or force. If you threaten someone and they refuse to take the action you wanted, you shouldn’t be charged with extortion. However, you could still face charges for attempted extortion.
Getting Professional Help on Your Side for Extortion Charges
You don’t have to try to deal with California Penal Code Section 518: Extortion charges alone. You can get the legal advice you need today by contacting the Simmrin Law Group. Reaching us to get the support you need is easy, just complete our online contact form or call (310) 896-2723.
Get a FREE case evaluation regarding your legal options from our criminal defense lawyers in Los Angeles immediately.