Coercion and extortion have long been prevalent issues in society, and New York is no exception. These criminal acts involve using threats or force to obtain money, property, or services from others. They can occur in various forms, from street-level crime to corporate misconduct. Unfortunately, coercion and extortion have severe consequences for victims, who may suffer from financial, emotional, and physical harm. In this article, Eastcoastlaws.com will explore the problem of coercion and extortion in New York, including its root causes, impact on society, and possible solutions. We will also examine some of the most high-profile cases of coercion and extortion in the city’s history, and the legal measures that have been put in place to combat these crimes. Ultimately, this article aims to shed light on a critical issue that affects the safety and well-being of New York residents and visitors.
Is Coercion Illegal In New York?
Yes, coercion is illegal in New York and is considered a criminal offense. It involves the use of force or threats to compel someone to do something against their will. Coercion can take many forms, including physical violence, psychological manipulation, or the threat of harm to oneself or others. Under New York State law, coercion is classified as a misdemeanor or felony depending on the severity of the offense. If convicted, individuals may face imprisonment, fines, or other penalties.
Coercion can also be a factor in other criminal offenses, such as extortion, robbery, or kidnapping. For example, if someone uses coercion to force another person to give up their property, it may be considered extortion. It is important to note that consent is a key factor in determining whether an act of coercion has occurred. If the victim gave their consent to the act, even if under duress or threat, it may not be considered coercion.
Is Extortion Illegal In New York?
Yes, extortion is prohibited by both state and federal law in New York and is a serious criminal offense. It entails using coercion, assault, or threats to compel someone to hand over cash, jewelry, or other items. Extortion is a crime that is frequently committed by organized crime groups, but it can also be committed by private citizens.
Extortion is a felony violation in New York State and is regarded as a kind of theft by the law. If found guilty, defendants may be subject to severe punishments, such as incarceration, fines, and restitution. The facts of the crime, such as the value of the goods extorted and whether any violence or threats were used, will determine the severity of the punishment. Extortion is also prohibited by federal law, and offenders may be subject to harsh punishments, such as jail time and fines. A federal law known as the Hobbs Act expressly forbids extortion and encompasses extortion that interferes with interstate commerce.
What Are The Differences Between Coercion And Extortion?
The offenses of coercion and extortion are among the most frequently charged and misunderstood white-collar crimes tried by New York prosecutors, according to the expertise of leading New York white-collar criminal attorneys. The offenses of Extortion and Coercion, respectively described by Sections 155.05(2)(e) and 135.60 of the New York Penal Law, are distinctive in that they punish violent or hostile speech when used for a specific objective. Yet that motive is what sets these two offenses apart.
To influence or manipulate another person’s actions is the most general definition of coercion. To commit extortion, the speech must have the intent to get property or otherwise materially profit at another person’s expense. Coercion is often charged as a misdemeanor in white-collar cases, whereas extortion is charged, at the very least, as an E felony in New York. This is a subtle distinction, but one that matters.
If you want to avoid facing criminal charges for either of these two acts, you must be able to distinguish between the fine lines that separate the crimes of coercion and extortion in New York. You might be able to avoid the career-ending effects of a conviction for coercion or extortion with the help of a brief summary of the law and a consultation with a top New York City attorney.
The Crime Of Coercion In New York City
The act of producing “compulsion by physical force or the fear of physical force” is known as coercion, or the verb “to coerce.” 106 in Black’s Law Dictionary (7th ed. 2001). The United States Supreme Court has defined its harm as the “interference” with another person’s civil liberties and rights that happens when they are coerced — through the use of threats or intimidation — to either commit an act or refrain from committing an act that they have “a legal right to do or to abstain from doing.” U.S. v. Sekhar, 133 S.Ct. 2720, 2725 (2013).
Although historically this may have been the extent of the offense, in modern-day New York the unlawful threat of another to undertake an otherwise authorized act is only one kind of coercion, as defined by the New York Penal Law, which is a misdemeanor offense known as coercion in the second degree. The other is the use of threats to force someone to carry out actions they are not legally permitted to, like committing or attempting to commit a crime, harming another person or their property, or failing to uphold their duty as a police officer or public servant. Prosecutors in New York may file a D Felony Coercion in the First Degree charge for this behavior and seek significantly harsher sentences. 135.65 of the New York Criminal Law (2).
While non-incarceration alternatives are available, they are likely to be refused if the prosecution can in any way characterize your acts or intentions as violent. A conviction for a First-Degree Coercion crime carries a minimum sentence of one year in jail. This is not meant to downplay the consequences of being found guilty of the lesser charge of second-degree coercion: even though it is a misdemeanor, a conviction for this crime could result in civil liability and have an impact on any professional licenses or employment you may have, whether they are held inside or outside the state.
What Does It Mean To Extort Another Person Under State Law?
According to State penal legislation, extortion is one type of theft violation. Extortion is defined as the act of compelling or threatening another to provide money or property under the threat of physical harm, property damage, or public humiliation, as stated in New York Criminal Code 155.05(2)(e). For instance, if someone demands $5,000 to conceal an adulterous affair, they could be accused of extortion.
Depending on the tactics a defendant employs to coerce someone into handing up their property, the gravity of an extortion conviction varies. A class E felony is a primary offense. However, the accusations are upgraded to a Class C felony if the claimed extortion includes the threat of violence or property harm.
How To Prove Extortion In New York
Proving extortion in New York involves showing that someone used threats or force to compel another person to give up their property or money. To establish extortion, prosecutors must prove the following elements:
- The defendant used threats or force: The defendant must have threatened or used force to obtain property or money from the victim. This can include physical violence, psychological intimidation, or the threat of harm to the victim or their family.
- The victim gave the property or money involuntarily: The victim must have given the property or money under duress, meaning they would not have given it willingly if not for the threat or use of force by the defendant.
- The defendant intended to obtain property or money: The defendant must have had the specific intent to obtain the victim’s property or money through their use of threats or force.
- The victim’s property or money had value: The property or money that the defendant obtained from the victim must have had value.
In addition to these elements, prosecutors must also prove that the defendant acted knowingly and willfully. This means that they were aware that their actions were illegal and intended to commit the crime.
Proving extortion can be challenging, as it often involves complex evidence and testimony from multiple witnesses. To build a strong case, prosecutors may use evidence such as recordings, emails, or text messages that show the defendant’s intent to extort the victim.
Victims of extortion can also help prove their case by providing testimony about the threats or force used by the defendant to obtain their property or money. Witnesses who may have overheard or witnessed the extortion can also provide a valuable testimony to support the case.
Hiring A Defense Lawyer For Coercion And Extortion Case In New York
If you are facing charges of coercion and extortion in New York, it is important to hire a competent and experienced defense lawyer to represent you. These are serious criminal charges that can result in severe penalties, including imprisonment and fines. A skilled defense lawyer can help you understand the charges against you, build a strong defense, and fight for your rights in court.
The first step in hiring a defense lawyer for coercion and extortion case in New York is to do your research. Look for lawyers who specialize in criminal defense and have experience defending clients against similar charges. You can search for lawyers online or ask for referrals from friends or family members.
Once you have a list of potential lawyers, schedule consultations with each of them to discuss your case. During the consultation, you should ask about the lawyer’s experience, qualifications, and track record of success. You should also ask about their fees and how they plan to handle your case.
When choosing a defense lawyer, it is important to find someone who is knowledgeable about New York criminal law and has experience working with the local court system. This will give you the best chance of achieving a positive outcome in your case.
Your defense lawyer will work with you to build a strong defense strategy. They will review the evidence against you, interview witnesses, and gather any other information that can help your case. They will also help you understand your legal rights and options and will advise you on the best course of action.
In some cases, your defense lawyer may be able to negotiate a plea bargain with the prosecution. This can result in reduced charges or penalties, and can sometimes even result in the case being dismissed altogether.
If your case goes to trial, your defense lawyer will represent you in court and argue your case to the judge and jury. They will cross-examine witnesses, present evidence, and make persuasive arguments in your defense.
Ultimately, the goal of hiring a defense lawyer for coercion and extortion case in New York is to protect your rights and achieve the best possible outcome for your case. With the help of a skilled and experienced lawyer, you can fight the charges against you and move forward with your life.