Extortion: What You Need to Know

Extortion: What You Need to Know

The concept of extortion has been portrayed in countless movies and television shows. A criminal tells a victim that he or she needs protection so he can defend them from other criminals. This classic plot comes from a real life crime: extortion.

Making threats to cause someone to pay you is punishable by federal law in every state and is a serious crime.

What is Extortion?

Extortion is a form of stealing money, property, or even services by using coercion on another person. Coercion can include threats of violence, destruction of property, or improper government action.

Extortion is seen as felony or a misdemeanor depending on the specific crime and how much money or value of property was extorted from the victim. In the past, extortion was usually covered only by public or government offices, however, the law now includes private citizens too.

Difference Between Extortion and Blackmail

Confusing black mail and extortion is common. Black mail is very similar to extortion, but it has some differences. According to Michigan’s penal code, blackmail is defined as the use “of malicious threats to extort money.”

Blackmail often happens when a person threatens to reveal information about a victim or his family members unless a demand for money, property, or services are met. The information is typically embarrassing, socially damaging, or even incriminating. While the information threatened revealed might be true and incriminating, a person can be charged with blackmail.


The punishment for extortion can range from state to state and will depend greatly on the details of the crime and how much money or property was stolen. However, it most cases it is punished as a felony.

In the state of Michigan, a felony is the most serious crime a person can commit. The crime can be considered a misdemeanor depending on the details of the crime.

When you face a crime of extortion, you can expect to pay fines up to $10,000 for each conviction, restitution; compensation for the loss of what the victim has suffered. This is money that is paid on top of the fines. In addition, a person facing this crime can expect to face possible prison time. Lastly, it is possible that after a sentence has been fulfilled a person might have to go through a probation period.

Seek Professional Legal Advice

When you or a loved one is facing a charge like extortion it can be scary. The consequences are serious and results can be severe punishment that will greatly impact a person’s life and future. Consulting with a professional legal defense attorney is the next step. Having a professional that has an expertise in extortion is important. They will make sure that your rights are protected and that you will not have to face any unjust punishment.

That is our goal at The David J. Kramer Law Firm, PLLC. We make it our goal to help you in every way we can. There are a number of ways that we can create a strong defense for you. We would love to help you – contact us today.

Let’s start fighting for your freedom.

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