If you have been charged with extorting money or property, you may be facing lengthy legal proceedings and severe potential penalties. You should engage legal counsel as soon as you are able so that you can determine the most effective defense strategies based on the facts of your case.
Regardless of the exact nature of your charges, you have the right to defend yourself with a legal professional’s help. A DeKalb County extortion lawyer could work diligently to help you secure a desirable case resolution.
According to Georgia Code § 16-8-16, an individual can commit extortion in six different ways. Generally, extortion occurs when one individual unlawfully acquires property from another person using threats such as:
Extortion is a felony. If a defendant is convicted of any of these actions, they may face one to 10 years in state prison. If a defendant is convicted of theft by extortion, they must pay compensatory damages in addition to serving a prison sentence and paying any related fines. They might also be required to pay liquidated exemplary damages up to $150 or twice the value of the loss, and restitution damages for any harm suffered by the people impacted by their offense. Working with a seasoned extortion attorney in DeKalb County could be essential to help the accused commute their sentence or have it dismissed.
Attorneys in DeKalb County have various tactics to defend clients accused of extortion, depending on the nature of the case. A common defense involves a mistake of fact, such as one party mistakenly believing the other party was attempting to extort money or property. Defenses can also include temporary or ongoing insanity, intoxication or substance abuse, and duress.
For example, if a person extorted money from an old employer because the true extortionist threatened violence against their children, their attorney could use duress and dire circumstances as the defense. Affirmative defenses also provide viable options. In such cases, the defendant would admit the exchange of money or property but deny that it was unlawfully obtained. For example, if a person collected funds from a personal injury lawsuit and the other party claims extortion, that accusation would not be valid because that party legally owed money to the defendant.
Additional defenses include legal property ownership, as someone cannot extort what legally belongs to them. Lack of intent also provides a defense because the prosecution must show the defendant intentionally threatened harm or other actions.
If you have been accused of unlawfully acquiring money from another person, contact a DeKalb County extortion lawyer as soon as possible. An attorney who is familiar with this area of law and the local court system could provide you with peace of mind as you move forward with your case. Call us today to set up a consultation and find out more.