Everyone has read stories in the newspapers about criminals and even government officials who have gotten various favors granted to them or who have made themselves richer by using a variety of criminal techniques. Some of the most common ones we hear about are extortion, blackmail and bribery. However, many people do not truly understand the differences between each of these crimes. While they are similar in some ways, they each have characteristics that make them unique. If you’ve been charged with one of these crimes, you need to hire an experienced criminal defense lawyer who knows the local court system and who understands the many complexities of white-collar crime.
Blackmail and Bribery
Blackmail is a crime in which a perpetrator knows something about a victim that the victim does not want to be disclosed. This perpetrator then offers to stay silent about this knowledge in return for some sort of favor, or for money or some other asset. To prove the crime of blackmail, the prosecution must prove that the defendant used threats or intimidation to cause some kind of loss for the victim.
In the crime of bribery, both the perpetrator and the person affected are participants in the crime. One person offers something to the other in return for some sort of favor. Often, one of the parties is in a position of power or in public office. For example, a person accused of an illegal activity may offer some cash to a police officer to avoid being charged for the illegal act.
What Constitutes Extortion?
Extortion is somewhat different than blackmail but has similarities. In a case of extortion, the perpetrator tries to get money or other assets by threatening to commit violence against the victim unless he or she pays up. A classic example of extortion is the mob gangster who charges a local store owner a monthly fee to ensure that his/her store is not robbed or hit by a neighborhood gang member. Extortion is usually classified as a felony and, as such, carries significant penalties including long prison times and large fines.
Call to Schedule a Free Consultation With a Criminal Defense Lawyer Today
If you have been charged with extortion, blackmail or bribery, call to schedule a free consultation with a criminal defense lawyer today. The experienced legal professionals at the Law Offices of John D. Kirby will investigate the facts of your case and give you an effective and strong legal voice. Schedule a consultation by giving us a call at 619-557-0100. We look forward to hearing from you.