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The increase in electronic communications and use of social media make it easier to commit blackmail. While blackmail is a serious offense, it is not illegal unless it is actually committed. Even though blackmail is simply a type of threat, the law treats it as an extremely serious felony. If you are facing charges involving Blackmail, it would be wise to speak to an experienced Michigan blackmail lawyer as soon as possible. This is not an experience that you have to face alone. Call now to receive support and guidance from a distinguished criminal lawyer.The Definition of Blackmail
There is a very fine line between bargaining and blackmail. For instance, when it comes to business deals, if one party threatens to sue the other party unless they agree to a concession, that threat would most likely be considered part of ordinary business dealing.
The same is true when an employee threatens to quit if not given a raise. However, if that employee threatens to reveal a wrongdoing on the part of the employer if not given a raise, that threat may be considered blackmail. If an individual has questions about the specifics of their charges, they should contact a Michigan blackmail lawyer.Federal Government Laws and Michigan Penal Code
The federal government enacted a statute prohibiting a specific form of blackmail. If someone is paid or demands money in exchange for not informing officials about a violation of U.S. law, or threatens to reveal a violation if they do not receive payment, they could face a year in prison and a fine.
The Michigan Penal Code is much more severe. This statute prohibits conduct that could be considered extortion as well as conduct that is considered blackmail. While both crimes involve a threat, they are not the same. Blackmail usually involves a threat to reveal incriminating information whereas extortion usually involves a threat to cause harm to a person or their property.Prohibited Actions
Within the penal code, there are specific prohibited actions that Michigan blackmail lawyers are aware of. Firstly, the code prohibits malicious threats that accuse another person of committing an offense with the intent to extort money or compel that person to do something. It also prohibits malicious threats to injure an individual or someone close to them with the intent to extort money or compel that person to do something.
If an individual engages in such behavior, they could face up to 20 years in prison or a fine of up to $10,000. Other Michigan statutes may also come into play in blackmail cases.Contacting a Michigan Blackmail Attorney
As the definition of the offense can be vague and the differences in penalties can be so drastic, it is wise to get advice and counsel from a dedicated legal professional who is thoroughly familiar with blackmail law in Michigan.
When you work with a well-versed Michigan blackmail lawyer who knows the defensive strategies that work best in different situations, you can feel confident that you are taking the right steps to safeguard your rights and your future. Call now to learn more.