Los Angeles Extortion Attorney
Forms of Extortion
Extortion is a federal crime and can be broken down into three main forms per California law. Using threats or force to compel another to give up money or property is one of these. Another is using the same methods to compel a public officer to corruptly perform a specific official act. Extortion can also consist of a public official compelling another to give over something of value by acting with apparent official right, although truly false.
The four main components of an act of extortion are:
- Property damage
- Use of violence
- Harming another's reputation
- Behaviors deemed to be unfavorable per the government's standards
Extortion vs. Blackmail
Extortion is often referred to as blackmail. However, there are slight, but distinct, differences between the two and they don't necessarily both apply to the same act. Extortion is usually charged as a felony and can result in prison time and large fines. A competent Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer should be retained to offer legal counsel and act in your defense if you have been charged with such a crime. Blackmail, on the other hand, is classified as any behavior that involves the use of threats to reveal information (whether true or false) about a public official, family member, work associate or anyone else. To be an act of blackmail, a threat must exist in which physical harm, destruction of property or social stigma will be inflicted if said demands are not met. While extortion and blackmail are often used synonymously, the differences between the two are evidenced by the behaviors involved in each.
Generally, threatening acts are only considered to be ones of blackmail if the threats are written down formally. Extortion can threaten future harm without needing to be written down; these are acts in which threats are used to prevent someone else from engaging in certain lawful behaviors. The prosecution must prove that you attempted to obtain property or an official act from another and that you did so by way of wrongful force or fear. We take up each part of this and review the prosecution's evidence and all the data on hand.
Contacting Martinian & Associates
We are very experienced in the identification of weaknesses in the prosecution's evidence or case. These findings can often materially affect the charges themselves or the verdict. We also have the competence and familiarity with which to conduct relevant investigation and build a compelling defense. Your rights and freedoms are important to us and we will do all we can to protect both you and your future in the wake of an accusation of extortion.
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