Hire an Extortion and Blackmail Lawyer for Your Defense
U.S. law covers essentially every crime you can imagine, including those involving threats of violence rather than any kind of actual assault.
Two of these crimes are known as extortion and blackmail. Extortion is threatening to use force to compel someone to do something or to acquire something for oneself. Blackmail is a type of extortion in which someone threatens to reveal sensitive information unless the victim meets a demand.
Extortion and blackmail cases can be tried as state or federal crimes, depending on the circumstances of the incident.
If you’ve been charged with federal extortion or blackmail, you need a skilled lawyer by your side to defend you. The penalty for extortion or blackmail is a term in federal prison that can last anywhere from one to twenty years, but it all depends on your lawyer.
At the Zoukis Consulting Group, an extortion lawyer is ready to consult with you on your case and defend you in court against your charges. Call us today to schedule a consultation and have us start working for you.
It will benefit you to understand how the U.S. Code handles the crimes of extortion and blackmail, and so here is a breakdown of the common types of federal extortion.
Extortion by Force or Threat of Injury or Serious Damage
Chapter 41 of the U.S. Code covers extortion, blackmail, and threats. While we have covered the crime of making threatening communications elsewhere, we will discuss the most common types of federal extortion for which someone can be arrested.
U.S. Officers and Employees
One type of extortion that the U.S. Code mentions is extortion by employees of the United States. The stipulation states that any U.S. officer or other employee who uses his or her office to commit an act of extortion can be fined and imprisoned for up to three years. If the amount of money to be extorted is less than $1,000, the prison term is up to one year.
Public Works Employee Kickbacks
The next type of extortion involves taking kickbacks from public works employees. Whoever uses the threat of violence to sever a public works employee’s employment or to force such an employee to pay money can be fined and imprisoned for five years.
Extortion does not have to take place in person for it to be a crime. One can also commit federal extortion using a form of interstate communication, such as a telephone.
In fact, people who use interstate communications to demand ransom money for a kidnapped victim can be fined and imprisoned for up to 20 years. The same sentence awaits anyone who attempts to extort a person or business by threatening to kidnap or injure someone. The same threat but without the attempt to extort carries a prison sentence of only five years.
Finally, whoever attempts to extort a person or organization by threatening to harm the victim’s property, tarnish the reputation of a living or dead person, or falsely accuse someone of a crime can be fined and imprisoned for up to two years.
You can see at this point that different types of extortion carry different sentences, and also that these prison terms can be up to their maximum allowances.
In most cases, an extortion attorney can be the major difference between getting a maximum sentence or something less, so you should not overlook the importance of getting a good lawyer by your side.
Mailing Threatening Communications
Just as it is a federal crime to extort someone using interstate communications such as a phone, it is also punishable to use mail for the same purposes.
Whoever causes the U.S. Postal Service to deliver a demand for ransom money for a kidnapped person can be fined and imprisoned for up to 20 years.
Similarly, anyone who attempts to extort another by threatening to kidnap or hurt someone can be fined and imprisoned for up to 20 years. Without the attempt to extort, mailing a threat to kidnap or hurt someone carries a five-year prison sentence. The sentence becomes 10 years if the threat is mailed to a U.S. judge, federal law enforcement officer, or other government official.
Last, someone who mails a threat to harm the property or reputation of a person, living or dead, or to accuse someone falsely of a crime can be sentenced to two years in federal prison. The punishment is 10 years for those who threaten federal judges, law enforcement officers, or other officials.
Threats Against Other Officials
The U.S. Code specially mentions extortion against certain other government officials. For instance, a person who is arrested for threatening to hurt, kill, or kidnap a foreign official, official U.S. guest, or internationally protected person in the United States faces a five-year sentence. If an extortion attempt is made in the process of those crimes, the penalty for that crime is 20 years.
Then, there are punishments for threats made against former U.S. presidents and those surrounding them. The prison term is five years for anyone threatening to kill, injure, or kidnap a former president or the former president’s immediate family; the immediate family of the president, vice president, president-elect, or vice president-elect; a main candidate for president or vice president, or their immediate families; or someone under Secret Service protection.
Receiving Extortion Proceeds
The final item we’re covering under the extortion section is the receiving of the proceeds of extortion. As you can likely assume, it is also a crime to receive, hide, or discard money acquired through extortion. The punishment for anyone who knowingly does this is up to three years in prison.
Blackmail, as we have stated, is a type of extortion in which someone threatens to reveal sensitive or potentially harmful information unless the victim does what the perpetrator wants.
Whoever blackmails or attempts to blackmail someone for money or anything else of value will be fined and imprisoned for up to one year.
Once again, how the facts of your case are presented, and how long your sentence will be, depends on the knowledge of your blackmail attorney. Call us if you’ve been charged with blackmail, and we will defend you.
Hire a Federal Extortion Lawyer Today
If you’ve been arrested on federal extortion charges, you are facing extensive time in prison. A lawyer who understands your case and cares about you can be instrumental in getting you a better sentence than you might have gotten otherwise.
We also offer prison consulting services for those who are going to federal prison for the first time and need some guidance. Our leader has been where you are and has plenty of insight to offer.
Call the Zoukis Consulting Group now to hire a defense lawyer who will immediately go to work on your case and defend you in court.
Published Feb 15, 2022 by Christopher Zoukis, JD, MBA | Last Updated by Christopher Zoukis, JD, MBA on Feb 15, 2022 at 12:28 pm