It is called extortion when someone obtains some advantage, profit, or benefit through threatening someone with retaliation that makes the victim fear for their safety or the safety of those dear to them.
Extortion Law covers many crimes committed by public officials and private citizens. In its most general meaning, the crime of extortion is simply the obtaining of property from another individual, either by force or by use of fear ("fear for the safety of himself or others, fear that injury will result to him or his family"), through the wrongful use of force, threats, abuse of authority or dishonest means.
Extortion can be committed through oral, written, or physical means. Specifically, a victim must reasonably believe that the person making the threat is or intends to carry out the threat. Additionally, the threat can be in the name of or on behalf of someone other than the intended victim. Extortion is similar to robbery as a form of theft that occurs when the victim's property is taken by force or intimidation, against the victim's will, and without their consent.
Although rare, in certain states, the crime of extortion can be paired with civil lawsuits. In these cases, it is necessary to show proof of the threat of violence, that the extortion resulted in damage/injury, and that the person being sued caused the damage.
Although rare, in the states of Georgia and Kentucky, the crime of extortion has also been paired with civil lawsuits in other states. In these cases, it is necessary to show proof of the threat of violence, that the extortion resulted in damage/injury, and that the person being sued caused the damage.
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