What is Extortion?
Definition of Extortion (Blackmail)
The definition for extortion in the Criminal Code of Canada is the act of making ‘threats, accusations, menaces or violence’ in order to induce the complainant to do something, usually pay money.
A threat to bring civil proceedings (lawsuit) is not considered a ‘threat’ for the purpose of a charge of Extortion.
What Are The Penalties For Extortion (Blackmail) in Canada?
The maximum penalty for an Extortion Crime (or Blackmail) is life imprisonment, and the minimum penalty is five (5) years in prison if a firearm is used.
Because this charge is often linked with other offences, such as firearms or weapons offences, the crown attorney is likely to prosecute it to the fullest extent of the law.
Extortion crimes often imply a level of sophistication that suggest the workings of a criminal enterprise and an intention to employ intimidation, for the purpose of making a sustained profit. Because of this, persons accused of an extortion charge will face a crown attorney who will ask the judge to treat the accused as a career violent criminal, who has no desire for rehabilitation, but only the wish to carry on his business for profit at the expense of the bodily integrity of others.
Most people automatically associate criminal extortion with organized crime. This is thanks to the vast history of this crime, which has been glamorized in the media, and portrayed as one of the main money-making schemes of any criminal organization.
When Is Extortion Considered a Criminal Offence?
There are many instances where extortion crimes result from misunderstandings between the accused and the complainant, in the context of a dispute over money. Thus, the allegation has nothing to do with the workings of organized criminals. In the absence of a threat of violence, the dispute is of a civil nature, and should not involve the incursion of the criminal law.
The Complainant Owes Me Money!
The Criminal Law Team recognizes that hard-working clients can be duped of their money, and that a complainant may turn the situation around to take the pressure off of him or her to pay their debts. We observe that many complainant’s have a checkered past when it comes to paying their bills and we will use this ‘weapon’ to turn the tables back around to put the spotlight on who the real culprit is.
The Criminal Law Team has successfully defended clients charged with Extortion crimes by, for example, convincing the crown attorney or the Court that, even if there was a threat of violence, the threat was done in circumstances where our client was frustrated by the complainant’s lies and deceit, which were intended to avoid paying a debt dutifully owed to him.
Have You Been Charged With Extortion?
If you’ve been charged with an extortion crime or blackmail, you will need an experienced Criminal Lawyer to defend your case. As noted above, the penalties are steep, if convicted. Please click on the button below and call us today for your free confidential case evaluation.
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