As the economy has shifted from bad to worse, the number of white collar cases prosecuted by major fraud units has increased. There are several types of Los Angeles White Collar cases but one of the biggest increases has been in the area of Extortion crimes. These charges can be filed in either Federal court or at the State level.
Penal Code Section 518 through 527 is the section that defines all aspects of extortion. Penal Code Section 518 defines extortion, while Penal Code Section 520 states what the punishment is for a conviction of this section. The crime of extortion is also referred to a blackmail. The definition is very loose and therefore it is easy for a person to have committed this crime without really intending to do so. It is very important if you have been arrested or charged with extortion that you contact a Los Angeles extortion defense attorney at the Kraut Law Group. Mr. Kraut is a former prosecutor in the elite Major Frauds Division of the Los Angeles District Attorney's Office and has relationships with law enforcement and prosecutors at both the Federal and State level.
California extortion law defines the crimes as the use of force or threats to make another person give you money, services or property that does not belong to you. Extortion can be directed towards a private person or a government official. A public official can also be charged with this crime if the official threatens to provide or withhold a service or benefit for an improper reason. Historically, extortion was usually charged against public officials. Enforcement has changed and most people charged with this crime are regular people who do not hold public office.
The force necessary in this charge must be done in person. However the fear portion can be done at a great distance. For example, threatening to go to the police to report a crime unless the person gives you money is a crime.
In most instances extortion is charged as a felony. The crime is punishable of a fine of up to $10,000 and four years in State Prison. Prosecutors have put a special emphasis on this crime because it is often accompanied by a threat of violence.
There are many defense to this crime and if you are being investigated for one or more instances of extortion in Los Angeles then you should immediately contact a Los Angeles extortion defense attorney with vast experience in both prosecuting and defending these charges. Being wrongfully accused of these charges can cause great stress. However, it is best to fight theses charges from the moment you are confronted or accused. Do not wait for charges to be filed, contact an experienced extortion defense attorney at the Kraut Law Group anytime to confidentially discuss you case. Contact him at (323) 464-6453. Related crimes to extortion include white collar crimes, Robbery in violation of Penal Code Section 211 and grand theft charges in violation of Penal Code Section 487.
If you are accused of using a telephone, mail or a computer to commit extortion then the crime could be charged in Federal Court by the United States Attorney's Office. The Federal authorities commonly call the crime "blackmail." It does not matter to the prosecutor whether you actually received the property or service that was demanded. The crime is actually completed when the request or demand is made, not when the money transfers hands. This makes it very easy o be convicted of an extortion crime in California. If the demand is made by mail, the crime is considered complete as soon as it is either delivered or put in the mailbox. There are many defenses to these charges. If a person gives you a service or item after being told to do so, but they would have done so anyways, then the crime of extortion has not been committed.
Another defense is simply that the person complaining did not actually feel that they needed to comply with the request. If this fact occurs then no crime is committed.
While sufficiency of the charge is not a defense, hiring a extortion defense attorney prior to charges being filed can result in a total rejection of criminal charges. Making the decision to hire an attorney right after an accusation has been made can often mean that the witnesses will be located and interviewed and was first thought to be a complicated crime can be shown to be just a misunderstanding.