What Is Extortion?
Extortion is generally considered a “white collar” crime because it often involves attempting to coerce a business, professional, or government official into giving services, money, goods, or taking action in an official capacity that benefits that extortioner.
Extortion is different from other theft crimes because the victim consents out of fear of being harmed or damaged in some way so nothing is technically stolen. However, it is illegal to threaten, blackmail, or otherwise coerce another person into paying money, giving up property, or committing any act against their will.
Extortion can also involve the “abuse of authority of office.” Examples include a government official or a police officer demanding money, services, or property in order to avoid a threat of some consequence.
Examples of extortion include:
- Blackmail is a type of extortion. Blackmail involves threatening to damage a person or organization’s credibility and reputation by sharing information or telling lies about them. Even if the information itself is not true or confidential, a crime is committed if someone threatens action unless someone else pays them money or compensates them in some other way.
- Ransom is another form of extortion. In the case of ransom, however, someone or something is held captive. The kidnapper threatens to harm or not release another person or item unless they are compensated in some way.
- Bribery is another common method of extortion, however, to be considered an act of extortion, there must be some threat of action if a person does not take the bribe.
- Criminal Coercion [N.J.S.A. 2C13-5] is similar to theft by extortion. Coercion seeks to limit someone’s physical movement whereas extortion involves the intent to obtain compensation or a favor.
Whether you are facing charges of theft by extortion or criminal coercion, or some other type of theft crime, let us use our experience to protect your future. You owe it to yourself to contact a New Jersey criminal defense attorney at our firm today for a free consultation. Please call Clark, Clark & Noonan, LLC at 732-303-7857 today.