What are the factors or elements for 518 PC Extortion?
Under Penal Code 518 PC, the California crime of extortion (also known as “blackmail”) occurs when you do any of the following:
- Use force or threats to compel another person to give you money or other property,
- Use force or threats to compel a public officer to perform an official act, or
- If you are a public official, act under color of your official right to compel another person to give you money or other property.
This may sound fairly complicated. And, in fact, California extortion charges can be brought in a wide variety of scenarios. Just a few examples of behavior that could be considered extortion/blackmail under California law include:
- A man armed with a knife breaks into a home and threatens to kill the home’s owner if she doesn’t open a safe that contains large amounts of cash and expensive jewelry;
- A real estate developer threatens to expose a city council member’s extramarital affair to the media if the city council member does not vote to approve a project that the developer wants to build; and
- An adult daughter with a drug problem threatens to accuse her father of molesting her and have him arrested if he does not give her money to buy drugs.
Politicians, celebrities, and sports stars are frequent targets of extortion. For example, one well-known former basketball player and current basketball coach was involved in a prominent California extortion case , in which a former stripper threatened to release nude photos of the married athlete unless he paid her thousands of dollars.
Extortion in most cases is a California felony. The penalties are two (2), three (3) or four (4) years in county jail, and/or a ten thousand dollar ($10,000) fine.
How can we defend you against charges of California Penal Code 518 PC Extortion?
Potential legal defenses against a California extortion/blackmail charge are:
- You were falsely accused,
- You did not actually coerce the alleged victim into consenting to hand over their property, and
- There is not enough evidence to support such a conviction.
We have been successfully defending clients facing all types of criminal charges in Sonoma and Marin Counties, since 1992.
The 100 Trial Lawyers Association has recognized us as one of the best criminal defense attorneys in the country!
Please call our office today at (707) 571-8600 in our centrally located Santa Rosa office in Sonoma County or call our office in San Rafael in Marin County at (415) 492-4507 to schedule a free and confidential case evaluation.
Don’t bargain with your freedom! The right attorney makes all the difference between your freedom and incarceration!