Montgomery County Extortion Lawyer
Extortion is a criminal act where someone unlawfully obtains money, property, or services from another person or business by threatening violence, property damage, harm to reputation, or unfavorable government action. Extortion charges are serious offenses, punishable by significant fines, imprisonment, or both.
As a crime, extortion has severe consequences that can change the course of your life. If you or a loved one is facing extortion charges in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, you need a skilled extortion lawyer in Montgomery County on your side. Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg & Gifford, P.C. provides the guidance you need to navigate the complex legal landscape of extortion cases.
Threats: Understanding the Role of Intimidation in Extortion Cases
Threats play a critical role in extortion cases, as they are often how the offender attempts to coerce the victim into compliance. These threats may come in various forms, such as:
Violence Against or Physical Harm to a Person
In some extortion cases, the offender may use violence or the threat of violence to coerce the victim. This can include direct physical harm, such as assault or battery, or the threat of such harm. Following through on threats of violence to the person heightens the severity of the extortion charge.
Damaging the Person’s Property
Extortion can also involve damage or threats to the victim’s property. This can include vandalism, arson, or theft, to coerce the victim into complying with the offender’s demands.
False Threats of Arrest or Imprisonment
Another common type of threat used in extortion is false claims of arrest or imprisonment. The offender may threaten to have the victim arrested or imprisoned for a crime they did not commit, or for a crime they did commit, but for which the punishment is far greater than the offense warrants.
Threats of Exposure or Embarrassment
Some extortionists may attempt to coerce victims through threats of exposure or embarrassment. This can include threats to reveal personal or private information about the victim or humiliate them publicly. Such threats are especially effective when the victim is worried about public opinion or their reputation.
Coercing or Impeding Testimony Against a Person
The testimony of witnesses in a case can be a powerful tool for the prosecution or the defense. Therefore, some extortionists may attempt to coerce these witnesses into providing false or incomplete testimony or impede them from testifying. This could be done through threats of violence, intimidation, or other forms of coercion.
Types of Extortion Acts
Extortion can take many forms and may be charged as a federal or state crime, depending on the circumstances of your case so it is important to contact an extortion attorney in Montgomery County as soon as possible. Common examples of extortion include:
Blackmail is a common form of extortion, where the offender threatens to reveal embarrassing, disgraceful, or damaging information about the victim unless the victim pays them or performs some action. Blackmail can be done through various means, including letters, phone calls, emails, or text messages.
Racketeering involves organized crime, where a criminal enterprise extorts money from a business or individual by offering protection from threats (usually threats created by the racketeers themselves). This can include threats of violence or property damage and the threat of competitors receiving unfair advantages.
Loan sharking is a type of extortion where an individual or organization offers a loan at an exorbitant interest rate, using threats of violence or other harm to force the borrower to repay the debt. The interest rates can be so high that the borrower has no realistic way of repaying the loan, leading to a cycle of debt and ongoing extortion.
In the digital age, cyber extortion has become increasingly common. Cyber extortionists use denial-of-service attacks, hacking, ransomware, or other digital means to gain access to sensitive information, then threaten to release, destroy, or alter that information unless the victim pays a ransom or complies with their demands.
Sextortion refers to the act of extorting someone by threatening to release explicit images or information about their private lives unless they comply with certain demands, such as providing money, sexual favors, or further explicit content. This form of extortion is a growing concern in the digital age and has severe emotional and psychological consequences for victims.
Pennsylvania Extortion Penalty Overview
For the prosecution to prove its case, the state of Pennsylvania must show that there was an attempt to obtain property or services from another person. The property or services must be unlawfully obtained by a threat or by using force, fear, or violence. The penalties for extortion in the state of Pennsylvania vary depending on the severity of the crime and the circumstances in the case.
Defining “Value” in Extortion Cases
Extortion in Pennsylvania covers obtaining anything of value, such as real estate, personal property, contract rights, and other interests. The term “property of another” refers to any property in which someone besides the perpetrator holds an interest, even if the perpetrator also has an interest in it.
Theft Offense Penalties
The Pennsylvania theft statute grades offenses based on the stolen property’s value and theft circumstances. Theft involving threats, taking property from a person, or fiduciary breaches are first-degree misdemeanors. Theft between $50 and $200 is a second-degree misdemeanor, while theft under $50 is a third-degree misdemeanor.
Determining Property Value
The value of the stolen property for grading theft offenses is generally determined by its market value at the time and place of the crime or its replacement cost within a reasonable time after the crime.
Theft offenses involving amounts over $2,000 or motor vehicles are classified as third-degree felonies. A conviction could result in up to seven (7) years in prison, with fines that are up to double the amount the defendant stole.
Contact a Montgomery County Extortion Lawyer at Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg & Gifford, P.C., Today
Extortion charges can have life-altering consequences. Do not leave your future to chance by working with a public defender. Our extortion attorneys strive to provide the aggressive, knowledgeable representation you need to protect your rights.
Our team of skilled criminal defense lawyers at Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg & Gifford, P.C., will evaluate your case and discuss your legal options, ensuring you have the information and support you need. If you or a loved one is facing extortion charges in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, please contact us online or at (215) 822-7575 for a free, no-obligation consultation.