DC Extortion Lawyer
Under most state laws, extortion (en español, extorsión) is gaining property or money by threat, intimidation, or making a false claim of ownership rights. Federal law expands the general definition.
The classic “mob movie” version of extortion is just one depiction of what constitutes extortion in the U.S. Offering a shopkeeper “protection” if the owner makes regular payments and threatening to damage or incinerate the shop if the owner does not, is extortion. However, it is not the only type of act that meets the legal standard and requires the attention of an extortion lawyer.
Extortion Regulations in the U.S.
Federal extortion centers on threats made to or by federal employees and threats that involve more than one state. Making a threat of violence against the President, Vice President, or the person that would succeed either in their death constitutes extortion by federal statute. The person that makes the threat does not have to do so for the purpose of gaining property or money to meet the extortion standard.
Federal law includes blackmail, which is receiving something of value following a threat of sharing information, in the section of federal law that address extortion. A person that induces a public works employee to give up any portion of their compensation by threat, force, or intimidation is also guilty of extortion. Similarly, communicating threats via mail for the purpose of gaining an item(s) of value constitutes extortion and thereby warrants attention from an extortion lawyer.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (F.B.I.) cites ransomware, which is a form of cyber extortion, as a growing trend. Ransomware occurs when an individual or group encrypts data that is owned by another entity so that it is unreadable to that entity and will only provide the owner of the data access, if the person or business pays a ransom. It is primarily used to target business and the F.B.I. estimates it cost U.S. business $24 million in 2015.
Federal extortion is charged as a felony offense; it is punishable with incarceration in federal prison for up to 20 years making it even more important anyone accused consults with an experienced extortion attorney.
The Bureau of Prisons (B.O.P.) operates federal prisons in the United States. Those that have been convicted of violating federal law, like extortion, are housed in federal facilities for the duration of their sentence. While it is arguable that federal prisons are safer and offer more creature comforts than state prisons because federal prisons have fewer offenders that have been charged with violent crimes, no prison is an entirely safe facility.
Federal prisons have minimum, medium, and maximum security facilities, and the location that an individual is assigned to is dependent on the crime that the individual is convicted of and the sentence that is issued. While extortion is not inherently a violent crime, if the means of extorting the item of value was making violent threats, the facility that the person would be housed in is unlikely to be minimum security.
Additionally, while a conviction for a state crime limits the state to incarcerating a person within the borders of that jurisdiction, federal courts have larger jurisdictions. Therefore, as an extortion lawyer can explain, a federal conviction for a crime that occurred in Maryland could result in a person being imprisoned in Arizona, which could make it more difficult to have regular visitors.