Frederick County Extortion Lawyer

Extortion is one of the crimes most often associated with organized crime. Today, extortion is a white-collar crime. These crimes are unique, involving specific elements that a prosecutor must meet to obtain a conviction. A hard-working criminal defense attorney could help you show a jury the prosecutor failed to meet those elements in your case.

If you are facing extortion charges, contacting legal counsel right away may be the best way to fight the prosecution and potentially win a positive outcome. A Frederick County extortion lawyer could thoroughly investigate the charges against you before advising you on how best to proceed.

Frederick County Extortion Laws

There are two basic elements to an extortion charge in Maryland. There must be some form of value, and threats must then be used to obtain that form of value. The first element involved in an extortion case is satisfied when a person obtains or even attempts to obtain a thing of value belonging to another person. A thing of value is often money, but it can be anything that a value could be reasonably placed on. Examples of things with value include money, labor, property, information, or services, and various other things.

The second element involves the consent of the property owner. Extortion occurs even if the alleged victim makes a claim of consent if it was given under duress. Situations where consent is unlawfully induced include the use or threat of violence, economic harm, destruction of property, or notification of law enforcement regarding the alleged victim’s immigration status.

Are There Exceptions To Extortion Laws?

The statute is careful to carve out an exception in the workplace where employees are seeking improved conditions in exchange for their labor. This exception extends to labor unions and other entities representing workers. When the undue pressure is the only reason a person consent to transferring property to another person, it is likely that extortion has occurred. That said, relationships between friends or business partners are often complex, and misunderstandings happen. A Frederick County extortion attorney could help the prosecutor understand that a transaction was entirely above board.

It is important to note that this exception does not give employees or labor unions free rein. Any attempts to negotiate that use otherwise illegal tactics are not exempt from the extortion statute.

Penalties for an Extortion Conviction 

The penalties for extortion can be stiff, and they increase based on the value of the property in question. When extortion involves property worth less than $1,000, it is treated as a misdemeanor. Property valued at $1,000 or more is a felony charge. The maximum penalties for an extortion conviction include:

  • Property less than $1,000: 18 months in jail
  • Property between $1,000 and $10,000: 10 years in prison
  • Property between $10,000 and $100,000: 15 years in prison
  • Property of $100,000 or more: 25 years in prison

In some cases, the value of the property could be the central point in an extortion trial. A Frederick County extortion attorney could ensure the prosecution does not inflate the value of the property in question.

Call a Frederick County Extortion Attorney Right Away

Whether you are facing felony or misdemeanor charges of extortion, it is imperative that you seek legal counsel right away. The prosecution will not wait to begin building a case against you, and your attorney will need time to build a winning defense. These charges are extremely complex and may be difficult to beat on your own. Getting help from an experienced Frederick County extortion lawyer may be the best way to protect your rights. Call today to get started.