Extortion is more commonly known as blackmail. Although blackmail is often associated with public officials, it is illegal for you to blackmail any person. Under California Penal Code Section 518, extortion in San Bernardino is the obtaining of property from another, with his consent, by the wrongful use of force or fear. Fear may be caused by a threat to:
• Injure a person or property
• Accuse the victim or his/her relative of a crime
• Connect the victim or his/her relatives with disgrace, deformity, or crime; OR
• Reveal a secret affecting the victim or his/her relatives
Extortion of a public officer occurs when one obtains an official act of a public officer under the color of official right. For example, a health inspector is acting under the color of official right when he/she is granting health permits.
Punishment for Extortion
If you are convicted of extortion of money or property without the use of any threat or force amounting to robbery or carjacking, you could be imprisoned for up to four years in county jail.
If you are convicted of extortion of money or property by a threat, you may be punished in the same manner as if the money or property were actually obtained. If you are convicted of extortion under color of official right, you are guilty of a misdemeanor, which includes imprisonment for up to one year in county jail and a fine of up to $1,000.
For an attempted extortion conviction, you face up to one year in county jail and/or a fine up to $10,000. If the victim of your extortion is an elder or dependent person, the fact that they are elder or dependent may be used as an aggravating circumstance against you which may result in a more severe punishment.
To help you stay out of jail, the San Bernardino Extortion Defense Attorneys of Wallin & Klarich can use a number of defenses on your behalf. We can work with you and form the best possible defense strategy for your case. In our 30 years of work in San Bernardino, the extortion defense attorneys at Wallin & Klarich have successfully defended people facing extortion charges. Depending on the circumstances of your particular case, your San Bernardino attorney from Wallin & Klarich may use the following defenses:
1. Lack of Force or Fear
In order for you to be convicted of extortion, the prosecutor must prove that you obtained the money or property from the victim by using force or fear. If you did not use any force or threats to obtain the money or property from another person, then you cannot be convicted of extortion.
2. Lack of Intent
If you did not have the specific intent to obtain the money or property from an individual by force or fear, then you have a defense to extortion. The prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you intended to extort the victim to convict you of extortion.
3. Official Act Not Obtained Under Color of Official Right
If the public official was not acting in his or her official capacity as a public official, then you have not committed extortion under color of official right. The difference between a public official acting in his/her official capacity and acting outside of his/her official capacity is not easily defined. An experienced extortion defense attorney can help you determine if the public official was acting within his or her official capacity. Based on the circumstances of your case, we may be able to get your extortion charges reduced, or even completely dismissed.
San Bernardino Extortion Defense Attorney
If you or a loved one has been charged with extortion in San Bernardino, you need an experienced extortion defense attorney to represent you. The San Bernardino extortion defense attorneys from Wallin & Klarich have over 30 years of experience defending extortion cases. We have the knowledge and experience to help assist you in your extortion case. We have offices in Ventura, Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, San Bernardino, and Orange Counties. Call us now at 877-4-NO-JAIL or 877-466-5245. We will be there when you call.