Extortion in Florida
As per Florida Statute §836.05, extortion is a crime in which malicious threats are given by a person that includes the following actions:
A person accuses others of an offense or a crime
A person negatively affects the property, reputation or wellbeing of another person
A person disgraces another person
A person exposes a secret that can negatively affect another person
A person credits any disfigurement or absence of virtuousness to another.
A person threats another person with the intention of any pecuniary advantage or extorts money, or a person compels another person to refrain from doing something or anything against their will.
Legal Malice vs. Actual Malice
The distinction between actual and legal malice is subtle. As far as extortion is concerned, it is a requirement for a prosecutor to prove that a threat was given with the intention of actual malice. This is rather than what is known as Legal Malice, which just necessitates that a demonstration is submitted purposefully and with no legal support.
Penalties for Extortion
In Florida, extortion is considered a felony of the second degree, and as per the Criminal punishment code of Florida, extortion is an offense of level 6. Any person found guilty of such charges may be handed any of the following legal punishments:
Imprisonment up to 15 years.
Probation up to 15 years
A fine that may amount to $10,000
Defenses to Extortion
A person will not be held guilty if it is proved that the threat was an idle threat, and there was no intention to transmit that threat to the intended target. For example, if you tell a person that your friend owes you money and you may expose an affair of your friend if he does not repay the debt. This is not extortion, as there was no intention to pass on the threat.
Litigation privilege means a prosecutor/lawyer demands a written confirmation that he/she will not be sued for extortion. Even if those demands are considered as extortion if they are made from the client of the lawyer, this privilege is given to lawyers so that they can work freely according to the best of their judgment without the fear of being sued for anything said or demanded during the process of litigation.
Contact Criminal Defense Lawyer Larry Avallone
If you have been charged or arrested in the Daytona Beach area, contact Larry Avallone, who is an expert Criminal Defense Lawyer in Volusia County. My initial consultation is completely free. I am ready to provide legal advice regarding the next steps in your case.