Robert sees Sara, a woman he recognizes from his neighborhood, and realizes she is not where she is supposed to be. Robert follows her and takes pictures of her having an extra marital affair with a strange man. Robert then takes those photographs and tries to “blackmail” Sara, telling Sara that he will give those photos to her husband unless she pays him handsomely. Robert is met by his local police the next day who arrest him for extortion.
Extortion is outlined in N.J.S.A. 2C:20-5, which says that a person is guilty of extortion if he purposely and unlawfully obtains property of another if he threatens to (a) inflict bodily injury, physical restrain or commit a criminal offense, (b) accuse another of an offense, (c) expose or publicize secrets tending to subject someone to hatred, contempt or ridicule, (d) withhold or take action as an official, (e) testify or withhold testimony, (g) inflict any other harm which would not substantially benefit the actor but materially harm another person.
We hear the term extortion all the time, but there must be a real threat or act of coercion which causes harm to another. Many types of threats include: (1) bodily harm, (2) threats to file charges, (3) threats to disclose secrets, (4) threats to publicly embarrass or ridicule another, (5) threats to testify against another, or (6) some other form of general threat to inflict harm upon another.
Theft by extortion is a 2nd Degree crime, and if convicted you may see five (5) to ten (10) years in State prison. The conviction will also require probation and extensive fines and penalties.
If you or someone you know has been charged with the crime of Theft by Extortion, you should contact the lawyers at The Mark Law Firm. Our lawyers will aggressively represent you and your loved ones to make sure justice prevails. The Mark Law Firm lawyers defends theft by extortion defendants in Somerset County, including in Far Hills New Jersey.