extortion | Definition

Doc's CJ Glossary by Adam J. McKee
Course: Criminal Law

In the criminal law context, extortion refers to the act of obtaining money, property, or something else of value by means of threats or force.

Extortion is also known as blackmail and is a criminal offense in most jurisdictions.

The key element of extortion is using threats or force to obtain something of value from another person. The threatened harm can be physical, financial, or reputational, and the threatened harm must be either against the person, property, or even the victim’s reputation or those close to them. The threat must be to induce them to hand over property, money, or information.

It is important to note that the victim does not have to actually give in to the demands for it to be considered extortion. The threat alone is enough. The threat must also be immediate and not just a general one.

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Last Modified: 01/10/2023


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