Extortion is considered a serious crime in the state of California. All counties within the state can choose the specific bail amount related to this crime, and even have a small say over the sentence that is handed down to one so convicted. The State of California, however, gives the guidelines to sentencing. Most California crimes give three specific penalties that may be handed down to the convicted, and it is up to the county court to decide which of these punishments is adequate.
What is Extortion?
Extortion is defined as obtaining property from another person with their consent, or getting a public officer to grant an official act, through the use of wrongful fear or force. Public officials can also be charged with extortion if they use their authority for these purposes. The use of force is self-explanatory, but the California law specifically explains the types of extortion and why they cause fear.
If a person threatens injury to another, that person’s property, or a third person, then it is considered extortion if they are trying to gain something. Threatening an unwarranted accusation against a person or any member of their family of a crime also falls under the extortion law. The third type of extortion would be a threat to impute or expose a person or their family to disgrace, crime or deformity. The final type mentioned is threatening to expose any secret that will affect the victim or their family. Any of these actions performed with the intention of obtaining property or official acts constitutes extortion.
Bail for Extortion
Though California counties have some say over how to handle their extortion sentencing, they have complete control, over bail amounts. That said, most counties differ between one another as to the bail allowed within their jurisdiction. Los Angeles and San Bernardino Counties, for instance, require a $35,000 bail amount on their schedule for sending a threatening letter to extort someone. Monterey County, on the other hand, only requires $30,000. Los Angeles and San Bernardino Counties also require a $50,000 bail for extorting a signature by threat, while Monterey County only requires a $30,000 bail. Each county differs, yet each amount is significant.
Extortion also brings harsh penalties, which is why it is smart for anyone accused of the crime to get a lawyer. Extortion is usually charged as a felony, and those convicted could face a $10,000 dollar fine. The prison time, however, is far more serious. A person convicted of extortion faces either a two, three or four year sentence in state prison. The choice of these three sentences is at the discretion of the court, but all of the sentences can certainly wreak havoc on your life.
Extortion is a serious crime that can threaten the good name or safety of another person. Because of this, California and all of its counties take the crime very seriously. Anyone accused of extortion, guilty or not, should contact their local office of Bail Hotline to get them out of jail as quickly as possible. As soon as a person is released from jail, they can start working with their attorney on what will have to be a stellar defense. There is no doubt that there are legitimate defenses to the charge of extortion, so it is better to be out of jail and conferring with a lawyer to ensure the best possible chance of lessening the chance of a conviction.