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What is Extortion?

While extortion is considered a white-collar crime in Georgia, it is taken very seriously and can be harshly penalized. If you are facing extortion charges, it is important that you understand your rights and hire an attorney as soon as possible. Our Georgia criminal defense lawyers have experience working on extortion cases, and we can provide you with a consultation today. Reach out today to learn more.

Defining Extortion in Georgia

Extortion is officially known as “theft by extortion” under Georgia code. Found in Georgia Code Section 16-8-16, a person commits the crime of theft by extortion when they “unlawfully obtain property of or from another person” by threatening to:

  • Inflict bodily injury
  • Accuse someone of a crime
  • Impair a person’s reputation
  • Take or withhold action as a public official
  • Bring about or withhold a boycott, strike, or other collective action
  • Testify or withhold testimony about another’s legal claim or defense

In other words, a person is accused of committing extortion if they acquire property from another by threatening the other person in some way.

Penalties for Extortion in Georgia

Extortion is harshly penalized in our state. The penalty for extortion, in addition to legal fees that will be incurred by the defendant, is at least one year in prison and up to 10 years in prison. Keep in mind that the charge of extortion may also be accompanied by other charges, which can contribute to a longer prison sentence. A person may also be ordered to pay some sort of restitution to the victim of the crime.

Defenses to Extortion

When you work with a skilled criminal defense attorney, your attorney can help you to understand the defenses to extortion. Some potential defenses to extortion that may be appropriate to employ in your case include:

  • Arguing that the property was indeed acquired, but that no crime took place. In other words, there was no threat involved in the acquisition of the property.
  • Claiming that the crime occurred, but that you (the defendant) were not the party who committed the crime or made the threat.
  • Duress—you may be able to argue that you did commit extortion, but only under duress or threat yourself.

How Our Georgia Criminal Defense Lawyers Can Help

When you call our Georgia criminal defense law firm, we will work hard to understand the prosecution’s evidence and case against you, explain to you your options, build your defense, ensure that your constitutional rights are protected throughout the process, and work with the prosecution to strike a plea bargain if there are no other options available.

To learn more about our Georgia criminal defense attorneys and how we can help you when you are facing extortion or other criminal charges in our state, please reach out to us by phone or online to get started and learn more about our services.