Arizona Extortion Laws

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Arizona Extortion Laws

When we hear the word extortion, images of mobsters and the mafia likely arise. Scenes and lines from Scarface or the Godfather are brought to mind. In general, extortion is a crime of power and the abuse of that power. As a criminal defense law firm, we are knowledgeable and experienced with Arizona extortion laws. So how does Arizona define extortion and what are the consequences? 

What Is Extortion Under Arizona Law?

Extortion is a crime whereby a person or persons with power seek a favor by the use of violent force or threats. According to Arizona Revised Statute 13-1804, a person commits theft by extortion by obtaining or seeking to obtain property or services by threatening any of the following:

  1. Physical injury or death
  2. Damage to property
  3. Other conduct constituting an offense
  4. Accusing or bringing criminal charges 
  5. Exposing a harmful secret or an asserted fact, whether true or false
  6. Causing anyone to part with any property.
  7. Taking or withholding action regarding an alleged claim of easement or other right of access to an adjoining property

Through extortion, a criminal achieves their desired goal through threats against the victim. Arizona extortion laws consider these actions a serious offense and apply severe punishment for the convicted.

Consequences for Extortion in Arizona

For most crimes, there is presumptive sentencing in place, with the final sentencing being determined by the circumstances surrounding the crime committed. Extortion cases with aggravated circumstances that involved increased immediacy of the threat towards the victim will come with a more severe punishment. Depending on the threat level, extortion can be classified as one of the following:

  • A Class 4 Felony: Extortion committed over the phone without the use of a weapon directly has a punishment of probation up to three years incarceration.
  • A Class 2 Felony: Extortion committed with the display of a deadly weapon includes punishment of probation in the first offense, to 35 years in prison on the third offense. If a deadly weapon was used, the consequence automatically starts at seven years in prison.

Criminal Lawyer in Chandler, AZ

Whatever the circumstances surrounding the crime, extortion is a serious offense and comes with heavy consequences. If you are found charged with extortion and are in need of a criminal defense attorney, contact Coolidge Law today for the best defense in the Phoenix area.


Image by kalhh from Pixabay (11/15/2019)