Kurtz & Blum, PLLC - Criminal Justice Attorney

Federal Extortion Charge Defense Attorneys

Extortion is considered a serious criminal offense under both state and federal law since the crime involves forcing a victim to give up something through threats, intimidation, or force. If you’ve been accused of extortion, you could face serious criminal penalties. That’s why you need an experienced Raleigh federal criminal lawyer to defend your rights. 

Since 1998, the criminal defense attorneys of Kurtz & Blum have represented clients in both state and federal criminal cases in Raleigh and throughout North Carolina. Our attorneys have over 50 years of combined legal experience defending people just like you. When you choose our firm, you’ll have the help of not just one attorney but our whole legal team. We take a collaborative approach to each of our client’s cases. The diverse and in-depth experience of each of our attorneys means that we can apply innovative and unique legal strategies to even the toughest cases. 

If you’ve been contacted by a federal agency like the FBI and suspect you might be accused of a crime, you need a strong legal advocate by your side. We want to be in your corner. Contact our firm today for an initial case evaluation and to discuss federal extortion charges with a knowledgeable Raleigh federal crimes lawyer. We’re ready to explain how we might be able to help you.

What Is Extortion?

Extortion is the taking or obtaining of a victim’s property by use of a threat, intimidation, or violence. Extortion is illegal under both North Carolina criminal and federal criminal law prohibit extortion. The North Carolina statute §14-118.4 defines extortion as someone “who threatens or communicates a threat” and does so with the intent to wrongfully obtain something of value from the alleged victim. Extortion is a Class F felony in North Carolina.

Extortion is also prohibited by the Hobbs Act. The United States Code, 18 U.S.C. §1951(a) contains the federal extortion statute. It defines the act as someone who “obstructs, delays, or affects commerce” by “robbery or extortion” or a conspiracy to do so or “commits or threatens physical violence” to another person or property “in furtherance of a plan or purpose.” Extortion also constitutes obtaining property with the owner’s consent if that consent was induced by a threat, or force, or fear, or under the color of an official right.  

Differences Between Extortion and Blackmail

Extortion and blackmail are often considered similar offenses, so some jurisdictions cover both crimes in a single statute. But in North Carolina, extortion and blackmail are codified as two separate offenses. That said, defenses for extortion in North Carolina and blackmail can overlap. At Kurtz & Blum, we’re equipped to deal with both charges.

The North Carolina blackmail statute, §14-118, defines the act as “knowingly send[ing] or deliver[ing] any letter or writing demanding” another person provide money or anything of value. It also explains that blackmail can occur if a person threatens to accuse another of committing a crime with the intent to extort money from them. Blackmail in North Carolina is a Class 1 misdemeanor.

In many cases, committing blackmail under the North Carolina statute would also qualify for prosecution under the extortion statute. As a practical matter, conduct that can be charged under either statute is usually prosecuted as extortion since the extortion statute carries higher penalties. Blackmail is generally less serious than extortion, so any blackmail charges North Carolina prosecutors bring could result in less significant penalties upon conviction.

Penalties for Extortion

In North Carolina, a Class F felony conviction such as extortion carries a sentence of up to 59 months imprisonment, plus fines and costs. However, this is only if you are convicted of the offense and your charges are not reduced or dismissed. 

The maximum punishment for extortion in federal court is 20 years, plus other statutory fines and fees. 

Of course, any extortion charges NC prosecutors or federal agencies bring could have consequences beyond imprisonment and fines. Criminal records can make it difficult to qualify for jobs, licenses, government programs or benefits, housing, or educational opportunities. This is just one more reason to contact an experienced, trusted Raleigh federal criminal lawyer if you’ve been accused of extortion.

How Our Raleigh Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys Can Help You

If you’ve been charged with extortion, you shouldn’t face the criminal justice system alone. Law enforcement officers and prosecutors have numerous resources at their disposal, especially at the federal level. You need skilled legal representation to give you the best chance of defending your rights. 

At Kurtz & Blum, PLLC, our Raleigh federal criminal lawyers can help you defend extortion charges by:

  • Investigating the facts and circumstances underlying your charges to determine your options to fight
  • Explaining your legal rights and the potential outcomes in your case
  • Identifying weaknesses in the prosecution’s case
  • Identifying defenses for extortion in North Carolina or federal court
  • Negotiating with prosecutors to secure a dismissal, reduction of charges, or a plea agreement that reduces your sentencing exposure
  • Helping you evaluate the risks and potential advantages of trial versus accepting a plea agreement
  • Advocating for you in court when you decide to defend yourself at trial

If you’ve been arrested on federal charges of extortion, let the federal crime lawyers at Kurtz and Blum help you protect your rights, freedom, and future. Call or contact us today for a confidential consultation to discuss your legal options. We can explain how having our knowledgeable, experienced legal representation in your corner can help you. Don’t wait. We’re ready to talk to you today.  

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