Here at JD Solicitors, we understand how upsetting and stressful it can be to be charged with extortion. Fortunately, our experience criminal defence team are expert in defending extortion charges and can help maximise the opportunity of a positive outcome in your case.
Read on for more information about extortion, and the penalties it can incur and how we can help you in your case.
Many different crimes come under the umbrella of extortion. However, the essence of the crime of extortion is an agreement between two or more people to coerce another into providing them with money or property. The coercion involved in extortion can include threats (violence, exposure, etc), manipulation, and even trickery.
It is also important to note that even if you have not acted on the crime, but there is evidence of you agreeing to do so, you can be charged with extortion.
So, as we can see from the examples provided, blackmail is a type of extortion, but that doesn’t mean all extortion is blackmail. Instead, the main differences between extortion and blackmail are that blackmail tends to be about revealing confidential info about a person unless payment is provided. Whereas extortion is about getting money or property via coercion such as violence, or threats.
To help clarify the crime of extortion and the types there are, read the examples below:
A computer is hacked with ransomware. The hackers threaten to delete all the files unless the owner pays them a fee.
A famous person is treated with the exposure of having photos if they do not hand over money.
A business owner is required to pay a monthly fee for ‘protection.’ The protection is from those taking the fee who will damage their property or commit violence against them if they do not pay.
Extortion is taken very seriously in the UK, and that means if you are convicted of this crime you could face up to 10 years in prison, along with fines, and other punishments.
There are, however, some things that may convince the sentencing judge to reduce the sentence including whether you are a first-time offender, whether you show remorse, and your medical condition.
New laws in the UK also mean that if you plead guilty early on in your case, you could see your sentence reduced by up to a third. Indeed, the earlier you enter your guilty plea the more time you are likely to see taken off your sentence.
These are additional punishments that can be levied against those found guilty of extortion in addition to prison time. They may include financial orders such as compensation for loss, and confiscation orders. Alternatively, they may relate to your future behavior and freedoms such as a restraint order, being put on license, or a reparation order.
When it comes to extortion the cost of prosecuting the case is usually sought from the guilty party. This means you could be liable for the costs involved in your trial.
Often in the case of an extortion conviction, something known as a victims surcharge will also be imposed. This is a fee of £20-170 that is paid into a fund for victims.