Extortion is considered criminalizing theft under the Texas Penal Code. IT is the crime that occurs when a defendant gains property or money by force or threat of violence from a victim. Those who commit extortion can also steal the property or finances by damaging property, damaging a person's reputation, or committing unfavorable government action.
To clarify, here is an example of extortion. Jason notices that his neighbor has a stunning diamond ring, and he would like to get ahold of the ring and sell it to help pay his mortgage and avoid bankruptcy. He understands that it is not going to be affective to steal the ring, so instead he knocks on the door and tells the woman that unless she hands over her ring, he is going to tell her husband that he is aware she is having an affair. Another example of extortion would be if Jason threatened to burn his neighbor's house if he could not receive the diamond ring or if he held a gun to his neighbor's head and demanded that she hand over the treasure.
There is one big difference between the crime of extortion and the crime of robbery. This is the fact that in extortion, the victim is not ever placed in imminent danger. For example, if the gun that was used to threaten was empty, it may be considered extortion. Also, threatening to damage a person's reputation or making allegations of damaging property do not put the offenders in immediate danger.
Oftentimes, it is difficult to prove the crime of extortion. For example, a person may need to prove that he or she was the victim of extortion with the help to an audio or video recording of the threat. This is because there is not typically tangible evidence in these cases unless the offender wrote his threat rather than speaking it verbally.
If you have been accused of extortion, you are going to want a Plano criminal defense attorney there to assist you promptly. You may be able to argue that the plaintiff made a mistake in accusing you of extortion, or may need to argue that there was a lack of intent to deprive the owner of property. Maybe you made a joke about how badly you wanted your neighbor's car or a particular sum of money, and as a result your neighbor or friend interpreted the joke as a threat. As well, if your owner give you the permission to take the property that was being acquired in the case, then you can also use this is a defense.
When it comes to extortion, Texas offers a wide variety of penalties. Depending on what degree of crime you committed and what your threats were regarding the crime you may be issued a harsher or lighter punishment. Typically, the courts determine that the amount or value of the goods, cash and services that the defendant gained in extortion will determine the severity of the defendant's punishment if convicted.
If the item that was acquired had a value under $50, then the crime is typically considered a Class C misdemeanor and will result in a $500 fine. Goods that amount to more than $200,000 can result a first degree felony charge and can be punishable by five to 95 years in prison and a $10,000. If you have been charged with extortion, don't hesitate to hire a hardworking attorney immediately. You will want a dedicated and hardworking lawyer there to assist you with your case and use the defense options available to prove that you are innocent of your crime.
Contact a lawyer at the Zendeh Del Law Firm, PLLC today for more information!