What is extortion?
Extortion and blackmail are two very similar offences, which are often confused with each other. Blackmail is the act of threatening an individual with an unwarranted demand with menace, with the view to making gain or causing a loss, for example, threatening to expose a secret if the victim does not pay an amount in cash.
Extortion is the act of threatening the victim with physical harm for the purposes of obtaining money, property or services.
How does extortion differ from robbery?
The main difference between extortion and robbery is that robbery involves the victim having property stolen from them. A person who commits robbery uses force, intimidation or another type of violence to obtain the property from the victim, whereas a person who commits extortion threatens to use violence.
To be convicted of extortion, you do not have to actually cause someone physical harm, only threaten to cause them harm for your own gain.
Where will an extortion case go to trial?
Extortion can only be tried through the Crown Court, and is taken seriously by the justice system. The maximum sentence that can be imposed on a person who is charged with extortion is 14 years, but this is if they are only charged with one offence. If the individual is charged with extortion and grievous bodily harm, for example, their sentence will most likely be greatly increased.
In some cases, a conviction for extortion may be avoided. This is usually in cases where the defendant genuinely held the belief that he or she had reasonable ground for making the demands.
Here at DPP Law, we have extensive experience in handling extortion cases, and getting the best possible outcome for our clients. If you’ve been accused of extortion, don’t delay, contact one of our expert extortion solicitors today.