Extortion (also known as theft by extortion) is typically considered a “white collar crime.” These are non-violent crimes that are motivated by money. Extortion is typically achieved through threats of exposing a crime or scandal unless money or property is given. However, there are times when extortion does become a violent crime, namely when the perpetrator threatens the use of force or physical injury in order to get what they want.
In the state of Georgia, extortion is taken quite seriously. To fight these charges, you need the best extortion lawyer available. The attorneys at Hawkins Spizman Fortas have the experience and knowledge needed to craft a strong defense to combat extortion charges in Atlanta. If you are unsure what all is considered extortion, read on to find out.
Extortion Includes More Than You Think
Georgia Code 16-8-16 lays out clearly what is considered extortion in this state. However, the most important factor to consider is that extortion refers to unlawfully obtain property (including cash) from another person by threat. This threat can include:
- Bodily harm
- Accusation of a crime
- Destroying someone’s reputation or business repute
- If you’re a public official, basing your actions on whether your demands are met
- Boycotts or strikes until the property is received by the group protesting
- Testifying in court, or withholding testimony
To avoid confusion, the law also states that extortion is committed in the county in which the threat was made or, if not done in person, where the threat was received. If property is unlawfully taken before the perpetrator is caught, the crime is considered to have been committed where the property was obtained. This could mean the case is taken out of state, or it could mean different local laws apply.
Extortion is considered a felony. If you are found guilty, you will spend 1 to 10 years in prison. In addition, you may be forced to pay restitution.
Talk to an Extortion Lawyer Today
Extortion can quickly become a complex matter. For instance, if you allegedly used the threat of violence with a weapon to extort property, should it instead be considered armed robbery? Any charges brought against you should be carefully examined by an experienced extortion lawyer to create a powerful defense against the accusations. If you’ve been charged with extortion in Atlanta, contact the attorneys at Hawkins Spizman Fortas. With decades of combined experience in criminal defense, we can help you. Call today at 770-651-0166 for a free consultation, including a full case evaluation.