Extortion Offences

Lawyers NSW

What is ‘Extortion’ or ‘Blackmail’ offence?

 

An extortion or blackmail offence is referred to in the Court as an ‘unwarranted demand with menaces’. Such a demand can be made for the following two reasons:

  • To a gain or profit, or to cause someone a loss; or

  • To influence another person in their public role or job

 

The demand with menaces is classified as “unwarranted” in those cases where there are no reasonable grounds to make the demand, and also where the menaces are not appropriate to reinforce and support the demand.

What is Menaces?

  1. Menaces can be an express or implied threat of violence or action towards another person through the infliction of physical or psychological harm to them; or

  2. Menaces can also be a more general threat that is to be taken seriously as it comes from a person in a position of authority in society.

 

Extortion & The Law

 

Extortion is generally covered under Section 249K of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW)

What the Prosecution need to Prove (Beyond a Reasonable Doubt):

  1. An unwarranted demand with menaces was made; and

  2. The demand was made with the intention to either:

  • Obtain a benefit

  • Cause a loss or

  • Influence a position of authority

 

It is important to note that no benefit or profit needs to be obtained by the person charged, in order for this offence to be proven. It is sufficient that the demand  is proven. This means that a simple threat can still convict someone of extortion or blackmail. The Judges look at the motivation behind the threat, and whether there was a real intention to obtain a profit, or to cause another a loss, even if that profit or loss did not occur. 

It is also important that no words need to be spoken as part of the demand. An unwarranted demand with menaces can also be proven through certain body language, which the victim would perceive as a legitimate threat.

Going to Court – “What am I looking at?”

This is a very serious crime, which carries a maximum penalty of up to 10 years imprisonment. A person can be found guilty and sent to a term of imprisonment of up to 14 years, if it can be proven that the person who committed the extortion accused the other person of committing a serious indictable offence.

 

Lawyer Call – Help is just a click away..

With a wide-ranging background in dealing with charges of Extortion and Blackmail, our expert Defence Criminal Lawyers are just a click or call away, to assist you in your time of need, and offer guidance and support through the entire Court process.

At Lawyer Call, we believe that often these cases are ambiguous in nature and often  need to be defended strongly and with precision including assessing several issues such as:

  • Whether any extortion took place

  • Whether the alleged actions constituted a threat

  • Whether there was a real intention to make a benefit or deprive another

  • Whether the extortion action was committed by a person through their own free will

 

Alternatively, should a plea of guilty appear more appropriate in the circumstances, our lawyers have an outstanding record of reducing the penalty by addressing several key factors such as:

  • Extent of criminal history

  • Good reference letters in support of character

  • Prospects of  rehabilitation

  • A displayed and demonstrated level or remorse

 

If you have been charged with this offence, contact our office immediately to obtain expert Legal Advice.

 

 

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