Strategic Defense Against Extortion Charges
If you have been accused of extortion, you have the right to fight the charges. An experienced attorney can help. At Pearson & Paris, P.C., we have more than 50 years of combined legal experience that we will use in your defense. Perhaps more importantly, our top criminal defense attorney is a former senior prosecutor who knows how district attorneys handle these cases. That knowledge allows us to create effective strategies ranging from negotiation to courtroom battles.
Whether in the Denver area or anywhere in Colorado, extortion generally occurs when a person, without legal authority and with the intent to induce another person against that person’s will to perform an act or to refrain from performing an act, makes a substantial threat to confine or restrain, cause economic hardship or bodily injury to, or damage the property or reputation of the threatened person or another person, and threatens these results by performing or causing an unlawful act to be performed.
Extortion is commonly known as blackmail. Extortion is also easily confused with driving a hard bargain. It is permissible to tell a competitor that if he or she doesn’t sell his or her business to you that you’ll drive him or her out of business. But this scenario becomes extortion when that statement is backed up with an unlawful act such as destroying a part of the competitor’s inventory, i.e., criminal mischief, or physical injury, i.e., assault.
Extortion becomes aggravated when the unlawful act is carried out with the use of a weapon.
Possible Consequences For Extortion
Extortion is a class 4 felony and may result in the following sentencing options: (1) probation, with a possible jail sentence as a condition of probation of up to 90 days, or up to a two-year work release sentence as a condition of probation, or (2) a sentence to the Department of Corrections of two years up to six years, but as much as 12 years if the court finds the presence of exceptional circumstances, with a mandatory parole period of three years.
Aggravated extortion is a class 3 felony and may result in the following sentencing options: (1) probation, with a possible jail sentence as a condition of probation of up to 90 days, or up to a two-year work release sentence as a condition of probation, or (2) a sentence to the Department of Corrections of four years up to 12 years, but as much as 24 years if the court finds the presence of exceptional circumstances, with a mandatory parole period of five years.
Possible Defenses For Extortion
The prosecution must show that the unlawful act was done in connection with the threat. Therefore, we must determine to what extent the unlawful act, if it occurred at all, was done to carry through with the threat. Further, the defense must determine to what extent the alleged unlawful act was even committed at all or whether there are any particular defenses available to that act. For example, if the unlawful act is an alleged assault, it is necessary to determine whether self-defense may apply to that act.
The remaining defenses that may be applied in a motor vehicle theft case apply with equal force to those that may apply in any other criminal case. This includes an analysis of any violation of constitutional rights, such as the right to remain silent, the right to counsel, the right to have any searches and seizures based on probable cause, a proper warrant, and the right to due process in the proper preservation of evidence that may be used against you. Many other defenses are available that rely on scrutinizing and exposing weaknesses in the prosecutor’s case, such as biased or incompetent witnesses, flawed crime scene investigation, flawed administration and procedures in collecting breath, blood or urine for forensic testing, incompetent computer evidence, flawed photo lineups and inaccurate crime scene/accident reconstructions.
It is important that you hire a skilled and experienced criminal defense lawyer to defend you in an extortion case in Golden or Jefferson County or across Colorado.