Los Angeles Federal Extortion Defense Lawyer

Los Angeles Federal Extortion Defense Lawyer

Are you or someone you love facing federal extortion charges in Los Angeles, CA? There’s no doubt that facing a federal charge is overwhelming, but you have rights and you need a knowledgeable extortion defense lawyer to expertly defend you.

Contact The Rodriguez Law Group for immediate assistance. We offer a free initial consultation, so contact our law office in Los Angeles, California to schedule yours today.

How Our Los Angeles Criminal Defense Lawyers Can Help If You’ve Been Charged with Extortion

Man in handcuffs holding extortion money

Navigating the complex criminal court process can be daunting, especially when the charge is as serious as a federal extortion charge. When you hire an extortion defense lawyer with The Rodriguez Law Group, you’re not only hiring someone to defend you, you’re hiring someone who can offer insight and guidance on a process that he or she has been through hundreds of times before.

Federal charges are serious – you need to be certain that you hire an attorney that can help you get the best possible outcome in your case. Founding attorney Ambrosio Rodriguez spent 13 years as a prosecutor before turning his focus to defense practices. As a result, he knows precisely what you’re up against and how high the stakes are. He’s ready to use his experience on the other side of the law to benefit you.

We offer a free consultation to address all of the questions that you have about our firm and the federal court process. Contact our law office to discuss your case with our Los Angeles federal crimes attorneys specializing in extortion at no charge today.

Overview Of Extortion In Los Angeles, California

In its annual Internet Crime Report, the FBI reports, “the Internet Crime Center (“IC3”) received 351,937 complaints in 2018 – an average of more than 900 complaints every day.” One of the most frequently reported complaints was for extortion.

While most are familiar with extortion, they are less aware that it can be prosecuted federally if it’s committed using any wireless communication (including emails and texts, and other computer communication), or by telephone or regular mail, or if it illegally affects interstate commerce by any other means.

An experienced Los Angeles extortion defense lawyer will help you navigate the often overwhelming arrest and court process that follows an extortion charge. Your attorney will fight to have your bond reduced, charges dismissed or reduced, or facilitate the negotiation of a plea bargain.

The skilled Los Angeles extortion defense lawyers at The Rodriguez Law Group can help. Our lawyers have been defending the people of Los Angeles, California against extortion charges for years.

What Is Extortion?

The definition of extortion is obtaining money or property by threat or intimidation. Extortion occurs when money or property is acquired by threat of physical violence or embarrassment to the victim, a friend or family member of the victim, a threat of damage to the victim’s property or threatening to damage a person’s reputation through various methods.

In the federal criminal court system, extortion occurs when a person, with intent to coerce from any person, firm, association, or corporation, any money or other thing of value, transmits in interstate or foreign commerce any communication containing any threat to kidnap any person or any threat to injure the person of another.

For purposes of prosecuting under this federal law, interstate commerce simply means that the offense must deal with trade, traffic, or transportation of cash and/or property that begins in one state (or country) and concludes in another state (or country), or that crosses state lines during the commission of the crime. In light of the fact that most extortion crimes occur on the internet and thus state/country lines are frequently crossed, it is not uncommon to prosecute extortion federally rather than at the state level.

Some of the most common examples of federal extortion include:

  • Extortion by threat;
  • Extortion by or to officials in the federal government;
  • Kidnapping;
  • Blackmail; and
  • Bribery.

The crime of extortion traditionally covered only actions by public or government officials; however, today, the crime applies to actions by private citizens as well as public or government officials.

Extortion by Threat

(18 U.S.C. §872)

A person is guilty of extortion when that person forces another to pay them money by making threats. The threats do not have to relate to physical harm, but instead can threaten to damage a person’s reputation, financial harm, and more. The punishment for extortion is fines and imprisonment for up to five years, unless the amount extorted or demanded does not exceed $1,000, and then the imprisonment shall not be more than one year.

Additionally, the person who receives the funds or conceals the funds obtained from extortion can also be punished by a prison term for more than one year, or if they knew the funds were derived from extortion, up to three years, fined, or both. 18 U.S.C. § 880.

Extortion by Or to Officials in the Federal Government

(18 U.S.C. §871)

Extortion can include threats against the President or Vice President, and extortion can be committed by officers and employees of the United States. The punishment for extortion of a government official is fines and imprisonment for up to five years, and for extortion by officers or employees of the United States is three years unless the amount extorted or demanded does not exceed $1,000, and then the imprisonment shall not be more than one year.

Kidnapping

(18 U.S.C. §875)

A person is guilty of federal extortion when he or she transmits in interstate or foreign commerce any communication containing a demand or request for a ransom or reward for the release of a kidnapped person or threatens to kidnap a person. Extortion involving a ransom request for the release of a kidnapped person or a threat to kidnap someone may be punished by fines and imprisonment of up to twenty years.

Blackmail

(18 U.S.C. §873)

A person is guilty of blackmail when he or she demands payment or another benefit from someone in return for not revealing compromising or damaging information about them. The punishment for blackmail is fines and imprisonment up to one year.

Bribery of a Public Official

(18 U.S.C. §201)

Bribery of a public official involves corruptly giving, promising, or offering a thing of value to any public official or person who has been selected as such, with the intent to influence an official to act (or not to act), or such person to commit or aid in a federal crime.

Additionally, bribery in the most common form means corruptly soliciting a thing of value in excess of $5,000.00 or more from any person with the intent to be influenced or rewarded with business, transaction, or other benefit is a federal crime. An example of federal bribery is using money to try and influence a sporting event.

What Is The Punishment For Extortion?

Generally speaking, federal extortion crimes carry harsher punishments than extortion crimes prosecuted at the state level. In addition to incarceration, fines, probation, and other sentences, federal law provides that a government official or public officer convicted of extortion must also forfeit his or her position. Those convicted of subsequent criminal charges of extortion (called habitual offenders) will also face more severe penalties.

How Can I Defend Myself If I’m Facing An Extortion Charge In Los Angeles, California?

The facts surrounding each case are different and should be analyzed as such. Our skilled Los Angeles federal crimes defense lawyers will sort through the facts and evidence particular to your case to identify which defenses are likely to be the most successful for you. Our team will gather evidence, utilize experts, speak to witnesses, and more to build the strongest defense for you.

Common examples of defenses to a extortion charge are:

  • No actual threat was made;
  • No force or fear compelled the payment;
  • No actual payment was made;
  • The person charged or extorted is not a true “public official” within the definition;
  • The person charged lacked the specific intent;
  • Lack of evidence; and
  • Illegal arrest or failure of law enforcement to administer Miranda rights.

All charges of extortion require the government to prove that an actual threat was made. Additionally, depending on the charge, the government may have to prove that the threat was made to obtain money, property, or anything of value. “Anything of value” has been interpreted by the courts to include money, property, debts, sexual acts, and other valuable, tangible goods.

Further, the government must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, which is a high threshold to meet. By reflecting on the skills perfected over the course of many, many years’ experience, your lawyer will examine the evidence against you to determine flaws in the government’s case, and will work tirelessly to defend, dismiss, or reduce the charges against you.

However, if a conviction is unavoidable, your extortion defense lawyer will negotiate the best possible deal for you, and provide you with strong representation and guidance throughout the process.

Call Our Los Angeles Extortion Defense Lawyers Today

If you are currently being investigated for or charged with an extortion, the sooner you contact an experienced extortion criminal defense lawyer, the better.

At Rodriguez Law Group, we understand the seriousness of your situation and will work tirelessly to defend and protect your rights. We understand what California’s extortion laws require for a conviction, and we will dissect the government’s case to reach the very best outcome for you.

Being charged with extortion in Los Angeles, California is only the beginning of an arduous process. Let the lawyers at Rodriguez Law Group simplify the process for you.

When you hire Rodriguez Law Group, here’s what you’ll get:

  • A team of lawyers whose practices are dedicated exclusively to criminal defense;
  • Years of combined experience defending extortion and other theft crimes in Los Angeles;
  • A former prosecutor on your team, who understands the complexities of extortion charges;
  • Hundreds of jury trials successfully completed; and
  • A “10 out of 10” rating on Avvo (attorney Ambrosio Rodriguez).

If you are ready to learn more about how we can help defend you against an accusation of extortion crimes, call us now. We welcome the opportunity to assist you during this challenging time.