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Extortion Defense Lawyers in West Covina

Experienced California Theft Crime Attorneys

In California, extortion is a crime which is defined very generally as the act of obtaining money, property, or services from a person or entity through coercion. This type of theft crime can be more difficult to prove, but it may also be more difficult to prove innocence in case of an accusation or arrest. As such, it is important that you speak with an West Covina extortion attorney who can defend your rights and avoid a conviction.

To prove that you are guilty of this crime, the prosecution must show the following elements, which are broken down into their alternative applications:

  • You threatened to unlawfully injure or used force against, another person or the property of another person; or
  • You threatened to accuse another person (or that person’s relative or family member) of a crime; or
  • You threatened to expose a secret about another person (or that person’s relative or family member) or to expose or connect him/her with a disgrace (or crime or deformity); and
  • When making the threat or using force, you intended to use that fear or force to obtain the other person’s consent to give you money or property or to do an official act; and
  • As a result of the threat or use of force, the other person consented to give you money or property or to do an official act; and
  • As a result of the threat or use of force, the other person then gave you money or property or did an official act.

Disproving the Prosecution's Arguments

To be found guilty of this crime, it is not necessary for the prosecution to prove that you said any specific threatening words or that you demanded any specific amount of money. It is required that the victim actually do whatever it is they allegedly consented to do – meaning he or she must actually have given you money or property or perform some official act. However, if the victim does not actually perform the requested act, you could still be found guilty of an attempted extortion.

We work to show that there is not sufficient evidence that any or all of the above occurred, leaving the prosecution with no choice but to drop the choices. With 15 years of experience practicing criminal law, our West Covina extortion attorneys know the most effective potential defenses to use in a case of extortion charges.

Penalties for Extortion Convictions

In California, extortion is a felony and if convicted you can face 2-4 years in jail and/or a fine of up to $10,000. However, if the victim is an elder or a “dependent person," then that fact may be considered an aggravating factor. If you are found guilty of an attempted extortion, then you will face a wobbler penalty, meaning it can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony based on the circumstances of the case and your criminal record.

If charged as a misdemeanor, you will face up to 1 year in county jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000, and if charged as a felony, you will face 16 months, or 2-3 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000.

Call us today at (626) 205-3794 if you would like to set up a free case consultation with an West Covina criminal defense lawyer.

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