Extortion

Los Angeles Extortion Defense Lawyer

WHAT IS YOUR BEST STRATEGY IF YOU HAVE AN EXTORTION CHARGE PENDING IN ONE OF THE LOS ANGELES COURTHOUSES?

In practicing criminal defense in Los Angeles over the past 25 years, I can safely say that there are not a lot of extortion cases file. If someone is charged with extortion, then the prosecutors will usually assign a special prosecutor to deal with it. In most criminal cases, there is no specific prosecutor assigned. However, in an extortion case, a prosecutor would likely be assigned because persons who commit these type of offenses are viewed as more sophisticated and dangerous than your average criminal offender. Therefore, my first suggestion to you would be to find a criminal defense attorney that is savvy, experienced and can effectively deal with these more experienced prosecutors.

The next thing I would do is put together a list of questions for the attorney that you are considering hiring to defend you. When you make a decision to hire an attorney, you want to make sure that they can effectively answer all of your questions and you feel comfortable with them as a person. When I meet with clients, my goal is to figure out exactly what their problem is, answer all of their questions and develop an effective strategy to defend them. That strategy can take many different forms, depending on what the person did and what evidence is available to the prosecutors against them.

In my experience, when a person charged with a criminal offense has an attorney that they feel comfortable with and a solid plan in place to deal with their case, it makes a huge difference in their stress level and their ability to assist their attorney with the case. Moreover, I find that when a person feels like they are being properly represented and they understand what they are up against, they are in a better frame of mind to make the necessary decisions to come to a successful resolution of their case. I really try and make a point of having my clients understand the “nitty gritty” issues related to their case and I find this makes for the best attorney client relationship and eventually makes for the most advantageous result for them.

WHAT IS EXTORTION

A charge with extortion is usually applied when someone uses some sort of threat (blackmail, harm etc) to receive property, or some good from the other. In Los Angeles County, extortion is a serious offense, and treated as such by the courts. That being said, often a charge of extortion is levied against a party whom the government is attempting to leverage a separate charge from. In essence, the party may have some of the elements of extortion, but not all of them, and the government using the charge of extortion as a way to get them to confess to a lesser charge. While this may or may not be relevant in every charge of extortion, it is something to be considered as a party defends themselves in our criminal justice system.

THE LAW RELATED TO EXTORTION IN LOS ANGELES

The California Jury Instruction (CALCRIM 1830) spells out the law as it relates to extortion by threat and reads in relevant part as follows (these are the elements the prosecutor must prove to a jury in order for a person to be found guilty of extortion):

1) The defendant threatened to unlawfully injure or use force against another person or third party or the property of another person or third party;

2) When making the threat of force the defendant intended to obtain the other person’s consent to do an official act;

3) As a result of the threat or use of force, the other person consented to do the official act;

AND

4) As a result of the use of force or threat then did the official act.

This really all has to do with a person threatening to do something bad to a person or someone they know or their property if they do not pay them money or do something they want them to do. In looking at the jury instructions it is clear that the instructions will be tailored to meet the circumstances of the case that is being tried before a jury. It will be up to the defense attorney to make sure that the jury instructions are not modified in such a way as to put his or her client at an unfair disadvantage. Having done many jury trials over the years, it can come down to making sure the prosecutor and / or judge do not unfairly place a jury instruction before the jury that changes the whole complexion of the case against the defendant. This comes with years of experience and battling it out for your client. Especially in an extortion case it is crucial that the law the jury looks at is fair and it gives the defense a chance to assert their theory of the case.

If you have an extortion case pending in Los Angeles or the surrounding counties, give me a call and we can discuss what your best approach will be in defending yourself and your interests. This is not the time to hire some cheap inexperienced attorney. You need someone who has been around the block and can match the judge and the prosecutor in skill and know how in this area of law. If you are interested in meeting with me, I suggest we meet face to face and you give me all of the details of the case. Leaving some facts out of the equation or spinning the facts and events to your favor will not do you any good and will likely put you at a disadvantage in the long run.

Once I have all of the facts and details surrounding your extortion case, I will give you a genuine honest opinion as to what I think your chances are in the case, what you are facing and we will discuss a strategy moving forward that will yield you the best possible result.