DeKalb County Extortion Lawyer

Extortion, or theft by extortion under state law, is a white-collar crime. These crimes typically do not involve physical violence, although they can include threats of violence. A conviction for theft by extortion can lead to not only incarceration and restitution, but also the other adverse consequences of any felony conviction. You can lose many civil rights, have difficulties finding employment, and being unable to pursue some jobs altogether.

Consulting a seasoned fraud attorney when you are facing theft by extortion charges may be the most effective means of avoiding some or all these consequences. To get started on your case, reach out to a DeKalb County extortion lawyer as soon as possible.

Defining Extortion in DeKalb County

The Official Code of Georgia § 16-8-16 provides that theft by extortion occurs when individuals unlawfully obtain property from others by threatening to take any of the following actions:

  • Causing bodily injury or committing another crime
  • Accusing anyone of committing a crime
  • Spreading information that would subject anyone to hatred or embarrassment or cause damage to their credit or business reputation 
  • Acting or refusing to act as a public official or influencing the actions of a public official

Theft by extortion also could also involve situations in which individuals threaten to testify or provide information in a legal claim, or refuse to do so, in exchange for property.

Prosecution for theft by extortion can occur in the county in which the accused made the threats. Alternatively, charges may occur in the county in which the accused received the property. An extortion lawyer in DeKalb County may be able to protect the rights of those charged with theft by extortion and other criminal offenses.

Penalties for DeKalb County Extortion

Theft by extortion is a felony offense under state law. Individuals convicted of theft by extortion can receive a prison sentence ranging from one to ten years. Additionally, a sentencing court may order someone to pay restitution to the property owners for the value of the extorted property. 

Since theft by extortion is a felony offense, individuals convicted of this offense could also lose various civil rights. One such civil right that a felony conviction automatically eliminates is the right to possess any firearms. Once individuals lose this right, there is no mechanism for them to regain it.

DeKalb County Extortion Defenses

The theft by extortion statute sets forth affirmative defenses to some of the specific types of extortion. Individuals may raise the argument that they honestly claimed the property in question as restitution or indemnification for harms they suffered. Another affirmative defense is that the property that individuals received was compensation for property or lawful services.

These affirmative defenses apply only to situations in which the alleged extortion occurred through threats of:

  • Accusing others of criminal offenses
  • Disseminating harmful or embarrassing information 
  • Acting or failing to act as a public official, or influencing a public official
  • Testifying or providing information in a legal proceeding, or refusing to testify or provide information

By contacting an extortion attorney in DeKalb County, individuals may be able to determine whether these affirmative defenses apply to their cases. They may also be able to explore other defenses and options that may be available to them to reach a favorable resolution of the charges. 

Call a DeKalb County Extortion Attorney Today

Rather than allowing theft by extortion charges to turn your life upside down and derail your future, call on a DeKalb County extortion lawyer for advice. By getting the information and answers to your questions that you need, you may be in a better position to defend yourself against these criminal charges. As an extortion conviction can result in severe consequences, you should not hesitate to get the advice you need.

Defenses may be available in your theft by extortion case. However, having an aggressive legal advocate on your side can be instrumental to properly raising applicable defenses. By raising these defenses, you may reach a better outcome in your case.