Whether it is in the professional setting of a corporate office or within the comfort of a private residence, extortion is broad term that encompasses a variety of acts. Extortion is characterized by the use of coercion and threat of harm for illicit gain and is punishable under both state and federal law.
If you are facing charges of this nature, an Omaha extortion lawyer can advocate on your behalf and help ensure your rights are protected. An experienced attorney can assess the facts of your case and develop a strong defense strategy for you.
Extortion Laws in Omaha
In Omaha, extortion falls within a category of theft under Nebraska Revised Statutes §28-510. According to Neb. Rev. Stat. §28-513(1)(a-g), theft by extortion consists of illicit gain made by threatening to:
- Inflict of bodily harm on anyone or commit some other criminal offense
- Accuse anyone of committing a crime
- Expose any secrets which are destructive to the person’s reputation
- Provide or withhold testimony in the legal matter of another person
- Publicize an explicit image or video of a person without their consent
In addition to criminal penalties imposed by state law, certain forms of extortion may be a federal crime under Title 18 of the United States Code §§872 and 875 and under the Hobbs Act. Under 18 U.S.C. §872, an act of extortion is a federal offense if made by an officer or employee of the United States government. An act of extortion – whether committed by phone or email – can also be a federal offense under the Hobbs Act or 18 U.S.C. §875 if it interferes with interstate commerce.
Penalties for Extortion in Omaha
The penalties for theft by extortion imposed under state law include imprisonment, fines, or both depending on the severity of the crime. Neb. Rev. Stat. §28-518(2) classifies theft by extortion where the value of illicit gains is between $1,500 and $4,999 as a Class IV felony. This carries a penalty of 2 years in prison with 1 year of post-release supervision, a fine, or both. If the value of illicit gains is $5,000 or more, it is a Class IIA felony under Neb. Rev. Stat. §28-518(1) with a penalty of up to 20 years’ imprisonment.
Under Neb. Rev. Stat. §28-518(4), theft by extortion is a Class II misdemeanor if the value of illicit gains is $500 or less and carries a penalty of up to 6 months in jail, a fine, or both. If the value of the illegal gains is between $501 and $1,499, it is a Class I misdemeanor under Neb. Rev. Stat. §28-518(3) with a penalty of up to 1 year in prison, a fine, or both. You can mitigate the potential penalties associated with an extortion conviction with a relentless Omaha attorney on your side.
Schedule a Consultation with an Omaha Extortion Attorney
With the current extortion laws in place, a criminal charge made under a state statute may become a federal offense. The counsel and legal experience that an Omaha extortion lawyer can provide may prove to be the deciding factor in your case. To schedule a confidential consultation about extortion charges, contact Berry Law.