New York Blackmail Crimes: FAQ

by ECL Writer
Criminal Offense Of Blackmail In New York State

Blackmail is a serious crime in New York that involves threats to reveal embarrassing or damaging information about another person in exchange for money, property, or other benefits. If you or someone you know has been charged with blackmail in New York, it’s important to understand the legal implications of the offense and the potential consequences of a conviction. In this article, Eastcoastlaws.com we will answer some frequently asked questions about New York blackmail crimes to help you better understand your rights and legal options.

What Is Blackmail Under New York Law?

According to New York law, blackmail involves making threats to obtain another person’s property, typically but not always money. You can be charged with Blackmail in the form of larceny by Extortion if you obtain property by compelling or inducing someone else to deliver the property to you by instilling fear in that person that you will physically injure someone, damage property, expose a secret, or commit other acts listed under the statute.

Blackmail, aka, Extortion, is a distinct crime from Coercion in that the latter occurs in the same way as Blackmail but you induce somebody to do or not do an act instead of having that person give you money or property.

Is It A Crime To Blackmail

According to New York Penal Law section 155.05(2)(e), which defines and forbids Grand Larceny by Extortion, Blackmailing another person is a serious offense. Larceny by Extortion is charged as a felony in New York and codified in New York Penal Law sections 155.30(6) and 155.40(2). (2).

What Is The Penalty For Blackmail?

The penalties for blackmail in New York are based on the value of the property or benefit obtained through the extortion, as well as whether violence or threats of violence were involved. The value thresholds for determining the severity of the offense are $1,000, $3,000, $50,000, and $1 million. If the value of the property or benefit obtained through the extortion is more than $50,000, the offender may be charged with Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, which is punishable by up to 15 years in prison. Additionally, the offender may be charged with other crimes such as coercion or extortion by threat. It’s important to consult with a criminal defense attorney if you or someone you know is facing blackmail charges in New York.

In New York, blackmail is a Class E felony, but it can be elevated to a Class C felony if threats of physical injury or property damage are involved, regardless of the value of the property or benefit obtained through the extortion. A Class C felony is punishable by up to 15 years in prison. It’s important to note that the penalties for blackmail can vary depending on the specific circumstances of the offense and the offender’s criminal history.

What Is Coercion?

Coercion is a crime in New York that is similar to blackmail and extortion but has its own distinct elements. Under New York Penal Law Section 135.60 and Section 135.65, coercion involves using threats to force someone to take or refrain from taking certain actions that they are legally entitled to take. This can include threats of physical harm, property damage, or other harmful actions. Unlike blackmail and extortion, coercion does not involve the exchange of property or benefits for the victim’s compliance. Coercion is a Class A misdemeanor, but it can be elevated to a Class D felony if the victim is forced to commit a felony or if the offender has a previous conviction for coercion.

What Is Considered Extortion?

In New York, the terms “extortion” and “blackmail” are often used interchangeably to describe the same crime, which involves making threats to force someone to give up property, money, or other benefits against their will. Under New York Penal Law Section 155.05, extortion is defined as obtaining property from another person by threatening to cause physical harm, damage to property, or other harmful actions. Extortion can also involve threats to reveal embarrassing or damaging information about the victim or to subject them to ridicule. In order for the crime to be completed, the property or benefit must be transferred to the person making the threats, but attempted extortion charges can be brought even if the transfer did not occur. It’s important to note that extortion is a serious crime in New York, and offenders can face significant penalties if convicted. If you or someone you know is facing extortion charges, it’s important to speak with a criminal defense attorney who can help you understand the charges and your legal options.

What Is The Difference Between Extortion And Blackmail?

Extortion is specifically defined and codified in New York Penal Law sections 155.05(2)(e), 155.30(6), and 155.40(2), which prohibit various forms of larceny, including the use of threats to obtain property or other benefits from someone against their will. On the other hand, the term “blackmail” is not specifically recognized in the New York Penal Law, but is a broader term that can encompass both extortion and coercion. Blackmail generally refers to the act of using threats or leverage to obtain money, property, or other benefits from someone else, regardless of whether those threats involve physical harm, property damage, or other forms of harm. While extortion and blackmail are often used interchangeably, it’s important to understand the specific legal definitions and requirements of each under New York law.

Is Coercoin Illegal?

Yes, coercion is illegal if it falls under the categories specified under New York Penal Law section 135.60 and section 135.65. You can be prosecuted for criminal Coercion if you try to force somebody to do or not do an act that they have a right to perform or not perform. This might involve threatening to commit violence, damage property, expose a secret, testify or withhold testimony, use your position as a public servant to adversely affect someone else, or harm someone else’s reputation, personal relationships, career, business, safety, or health. If convicted of Second Degree Coercion you can go to jail for up to one year. First Degree Coercion is a felony carrying a sentence of up to seven years in prison.

Is Extortion A Misdemeanor Or A Felony?

Extortion is considered a serious crime in New York and is automatically classified as a felony offense, rather than a misdemeanor. As a result, even the lowest level of extortion can carry significant penalties, including up to four years in prison for a class E felony conviction. However, if the extortion involves threats of violence or property damage, it may be elevated to a class C felony, which carries a maximum penalty of fifteen years in prison. The severity of the charges and potential penalties can also depend on the value of the property that is extorted. For example, if the property is valued at more than $1,000,000, the offense may be charged as a class B felony, which carries a maximum penalty of twenty-five years in prison. It’s important to note that the specific circumstances of the case, including any aggravating or mitigating factors, can also impact the severity of the charges and the potential penalties.

Can You Go To Jail For Extortion?

If you are arrested for extortion in New York, you may be held in jail until your case is resolved, depending on the circumstances of your arrest and the severity of the charges against you. Extortion is always charged as a felony offense in New York, which means that if you are convicted, you may face significant penalties, including imprisonment. The specific length of your sentence will depend on a variety of factors, such as the degree of extortion you are convicted of and any aggravating or mitigating factors in your case. For example, the lowest level of extortion carries a maximum penalty of four years in prison, while the highest degree of blackmail may result in a sentence of up to twenty-five years. It’s important to take extortion charges seriously and consult with a criminal defense attorney who can help you understand your legal options and develop a defense strategy.

What Are Example Of Coercion?

One example of Coercion would be if somebody made a sex tape of his girlfriend or boyfriend, whether consented to at the time or not and threatened to release it online (Revenge Porn) if she or he refused to have sex and engage in intercourse. Another example would occur when a coercer threatened to tell a story – true or not – that would subject you to contempt and ridicule if you did not quit your job or engage in embarrassing public behavior.

What Can The Police Do About Blackmail Under The New York Law?

The police can investigate whether Blackmail has occurred under New York law. A victim of Blackmail can contact the police and show the police any letters, texts, emails, or other communications that include threats to get the victim to turn over property, or to otherwise coerce the victim to do or not do an act. After investigating, if they have probable cause to believe that a suspect has committed larceny by Extortion or that Coercion has occurred, the police may can arrest the suspect. Although the police and District Attorney can take criminal action, a course of action you may wish to consider due to its benefits is putting an end to your Blackmail with the assistance of a criminal lawyer outside of the court system.

Leave a Comment

This blog is ONLY for informational or educational purposes and DOES NOT substitute professional legal advise. We take no responsibility or credit for what you do with this info.