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Movies and crime novels often use extortion and blackmail as a primary plot point. While this act may be entertaining in the realm of fiction, reality is far more bleak. According to California Penal Code 518, extortion, which is often referred to as blackmail, is when any person attempts to gain financial rewards by using threats or some other action to compel one person to deliver a set amount of money. While there are many different scenarios and reasons as to why a defendant may be charged under PC 518, a professional legal team is capable of outlining, and defending, your case.
While the concept of extortion may seem cut-and-dry, there are many scenarios that make convicting this action difficult. In order to better understand this process, it’s important to clarify basic scenarios that may result in an extortion charge:
Because of the complex nature of this charge, it’s easy to become confused. In an attempt to demystify this process, the following are common scenarios in which a defendant may be charged under California Penal Code 518:
Although the aforementioned are very simple examples of extortion, it’s easy to see this criminal act does not simply require one party to demand money from the other. The bottom line: extortion can happen if any person threatens to cause financial, personal or social harm to another individual unless they meet the demands of the extortionist.
Due to the complex nature of such charges, it’s important to hire an experienced extortion defense attorney. While the stance of your defense team will vary according to case specifics, the following are common defenses that may be used:
While an extortion charge is a serious offense, with a potential penalty of two to four years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000, a professional legal team with experience dealing with extortion cases has the knowledge and ability to prevent false convictions.