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We see forms of extortion depicted in movies or on TV, but in reality, extortion is more common throughout Michigan than most people realize. Extortion can be considered a violation of federal law, state law or both. Therefore, anyone potentially facing extortion charges should consult a skilled fraud attorney who is thoroughly familiar with all the applicable laws as well as the best defensive strategies.
A Michigan extortion lawyer can work to uncover and present the best available evidence, build a solid defense, and advocate persuasively on your behalf to help you reach the best possible outcome of your case.Definition of Extortion in Michigan
The Michigan Penal Code defines extortion as someone who threatens to injure another person, their property, or close family member. Generally, these threats are made to extort money, gain something of value, or compel a person to do something against their will. For example, if a store owner pays members of a gang to prevent them from setting fire to the store or from hurting members of the owner's family is an example of extortionExtortion Versus Blackmail
As Michigan extortion lawyers know, many people confuse extortion and blackmail. Especially since they both involve the use of threats to coerce someone to pay money, provide favors, or carry out an act. With blackmail, the threat usually concerns disclosure of embarrassing or incriminating information. By contrast, extortion generally involves a threat of violence, harm, or destruction of property. Instead of threats humiliation, extortion involves threats of actual harm.Extortion Penalties
This offense is considered a felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. It is important to note that a threat does not need to be carried out in order for extortion to occur. The threat itself is enough to constitute extortion, even if the other party consents to make the payment.Federal Extortion Laws
Michigan extortion lawyers have also witnessed extortion cases on the federal level. If a communication containing a threat to harm or kidnap someone made with intent to extort money is transmitted through "interstate commerce," the extortion may be penalized as a violation of federal law.
If such a threat is made without intent to extort money or if the threat is to harm a person's property or reputation, the communication is still a serious violation of federal law, but the penalties are substantially less severe.Consulting a Michigan Extortion Attorney
Extortion is a serious offense and anyone who has been charged or may be charged with this crime should obtain advice from legal counsel with extensive experience defending against extortion allegations. It is important to ensure that valuable evidence is collected and preserved so that it is ready to be presented in the best possible light. The first step toward defending against this serious offense is to consult a knowledgeable Michigan extortion lawyer who can explain the implications and help you devise the right defensive strategy to help reach the best possible outcome in your case. Call now for a free consultation.