Words matter, and sometimes in the heat of the moment, you may say words that others may interpret as threatening. In fact, you may have such high emotions that you do not even remember what you said or why, but others may claim to have a clear recollection. If that recollection is that you used threats to extort someone, you may be facing serious criminal charges.
Extortion is a felony that involves one person making threats against another and demanding money or something else in return for not following through on those threats. Extortion can take many forms, and there are countless examples of the kinds of threats and demands the crime may include. If you are facing such accusations, you would be wise to seek legal assistance about your options.
Examples of extortion
A person may feel you are blackmailing or extorting him or her if you have some information that gives you power or control over the situation. Even if you did not make any threats, the other person may feel threatened or intimidated by you. People may accuse you of extortion by saying you did any of the following things:
- Demanded money in exchange for protecting their business from vandalism or burglary
- Blackmailed them for money by threatening to publicize information about them that could be embarrassing or damaging to their career or reputation
- Threatened to accuse them of committing a crime against you unless they paid you money
- Threatened harm against their family members or property unless they paid you
- Demanded money in exchange for favorable testimony in a lawsuit or administrative hearing
These are just a few examples. It may have been a verbal exchange, a text or email that someone interpreted as threatening. Additionally, cyber criminals use ransomware, a tool that encrypts important files in other people’s computers so the users can’t access them until they pay a ransom. This is a form of extortion.
If a difficult conversation or argument left others with the impression that you were extorting them for money or other advantages, you may be at risk of felony charges. A conviction for such charges may result in years behind bars, steep fines, and personal and professional challenges for the rest of your life. In a situation like this, it may be in your best interest to reach out to a skilled Arkansas attorney who can advise you on the most appropriate course of action to protect your future and freedom.