Miami Extortion Lawyer
Fighting State And Federal Extortion Charges
Generally defined, extortion involves inducing someone to hand over money, property, or anything of value by using force or violence or the threat of such. Both Florida and the federal government have laws prohibiting this conduct. Whether you have been accused of a state or federal crime, you are facing severe consequences. For the most part, extortion in either jurisdiction is a felony, and conviction penalties can include decades in prison and tens of thousands of dollars in fines. If you are facing charges, your freedom, reputation, relationships, and professional future are at stake. Because the consequences are so serious, it is crucial that you retain the services of a Miami extortion attorney who can fight for you both in and out of the courtroom.
Backed by over 40 years of legal experience, I can deliver the aggressive legal representation you need. I am a former prosecutor who knows how the other side thinks. I use this knowledge to my client’s advantage when developing a defense strategy to challenge the accusations made against them. I have helped thousands of people through criminal matters of varying complexity at my firm, Jonathan B. Blecher, P.A., and I am intimately familiar with the processes of both state and federal courts. Whatever charges you are facing, you can trust that you will get dedicated legal counsel from me.
Schedule your free initial case evaluation today by calling 305-321-3237 or submitting an online contact form today.
What Is Florida’s Extortion Law?
Florida Statutes § 836.05 is the law concerning extortion. A person commits the offense when they make a malicious threat to a person through verbal, written or printed communication.
Extortion charges may arise if an individual, seeking to obtain something of value, threatens to:
- Accuse another of a crime
- Cause injury to another person, their property, or their reputation
- Disgrace another
- Expose a secret that would affect the other person
- Imply deformity or lack of chastity of the other person
When hearing these matters, trial judges must decide whether to apply the legal or actual definition of malice. The legal definition states that a person acts with malice when they have no lawful justification for their conduct. The actual definition says that malice is when a person acts with “ill will, hatred, spite, or evil intent.”
Regardless of what definition is applied, the state must also prove that the defendant intended to:
- Extort money or pecuniary advantage
- Make the alleged victim do or refrain from doing something against their will
In Florida, extortion is a second-degree felony.
The punishments for the crime include:
- Imprisonment for no more than 15 years
- A fine of up to $10,000
I am prepared to stand up for you no matter your circumstances. I want to hear your side of the story and ensure that your voice is heard. My focus will be on developing a unique legal strategy for you, and I can seek the best possible outcome on your behalf.
What Is The Federal Extortion Law?
The federal government has several laws concerning extortion. They differ from Florida’s law in that the alleged offender’s conduct must be such that it “obstructs, delays, or affects” interstate or foreign commerce. In other words, the offense either crosses state or country lines or involves a U.S. or foreign official.
Below are a few of the federal statutes concerning extortion:
- 18 U.S.C. § 1951: Known as the Hobbs Act, this law prohibits individuals from obtaining someone else’s property or anything of value belonging to another by threatening physical force or violence. Note that it is different from robbery in that, because of the threats, the alleged offender willfully gives up the sought-after item. In contrast, with robbery, the item is taken against the person’s will. A violation is punishable by up to 20 years of imprisonment and/or a fine.
- 18 U.S.C. § 872: This statute concerns extortion committed by an employee or agent of a U.S. department or agency who uses their position to induce someone to relinquish property or any item of value. Violators may be penalized by up to 3 years of imprisonment and/or a fine. However, if the value of the item extorted was $1,000 or less, the prison term can be no more than 1 year.
- 18 U.S.C. § 875: This law prohibits private actors from committing extortion against other individuals, corporations, firms, or associations. Additionally, the actor uses the threat of kidnapping or injury to further the offense, and the crime must affect interstate or foreign commerce. A conviction carries imprisonment for up to 20 years and/or a fine.
- 18 U.S.C. § 878: A person can be prosecuted under this statute if they make an extortion demand by threatening a foreign official, foreign guest, or internationally protected person with acts such as murder, manslaughter, or kidnapping. The offense is penalized by imprisonment for no more than 20 years and/or a fine.
If you have been charged with a federal crime, you need a Miami extortion lawyer on your side who knows how to navigate the federal court system. I am ready to be your guide and your staunch protector.
Get Help From An Extortion Attorney as Soon as Possible
Building a defense against state or federal extortion charges requires thorough preparation. I am ready to put in the time and effort needed to work toward a favorable outcome for you.
To discuss your case with an experienced extortion lawyer in Miami, call me at 305-321-3237 or contact me online.