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Blackmail, Bribery, and Extortion


Many white collar crimes possess so many similarities that defendants are often unsure of what crime they are actually being charged with. For instance, the white collar crimes of bribery, extortion, and blackmail are often mistaken for and confused with each other, so if you are being investigated for one or more of these offenses, it is important to contact an experienced white collar crime attorney who can explain the differences between these crimes and how their charges could affect you.

Blackmail Defined  

Blackmail, like extortion, usually involves situations where a person is accused of acquiring money from someone else through the use of threats, force, assault, or threats of harm. In most cases, blackmail involves threatening to reveal certain information about a person if that individual does not comply with their wishes. While many of those who are accused of blackmail are also often charged with extortion, in most cases, defendants will face charges of blackmail if money is involved and will only be charged with extortion if there are also allegations of an attempt to obtain influence or power unlawfully.

Bribery Defined  

Bribery can be considered the opposite of blackmail in many ways, in that the person being bribed receives money from the individual who is offering the bribe. Thus, as a white collar crime, bribery tends to stand apart from blackmail and extortion because both the perpetrator and his or her target actually engage and participate in the illegal activity. For this reason, it is not uncommon for both a perpetrator and the person that allegedly provided him or her with favor or influence, to be charged in court. Generally, this crime is considered more serious when the accused is in a position of greater power.

Extortion Defined  

The crime of extortion is often confused with blackmail, as those who are accused of this offense use similar tactics, such as intimidation, threats, or coercion to force someone else to provide him or her with authority or money. However, unlike blackmail, which is usually committed for the purpose of obtaining monetary funds, extortion is associated more with an attempt to obtain influence or power.

The Differences  

The elements of extortion, bribery, and blackmail are largely the same. There are, however, a few key differences that make these offenses unique crimes. For instance, while the elements of the crime of blackmail could lead to charges of extortion or bribery, whether this occurs depends largely on the actions of the other party involved in the exchange. For instance, if the target offers to provide a favor in exchange for money or a favor, the offense could change from extortion to bribery.

Contact an Experienced White Collar Crime Attorney  

Regardless of whether a person is facing charges of blackmail, extortion, or bribery, hiring a criminal defense lawyer is critical to the outcome of a case. Please call experienced white collar crime lawyer Jeffrey S. Weiner, P.A., Criminal Defense Attorneys in Miami at 305-670-9919 today to learn more about how our dedicated legal team can help defend your interests.


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Miami Criminal Attorneys

9130 South Dadeland Blvd
Miami, Florida 33156

Telephone: 305-670-9919
Fax: 305-670-9299

Miami Abogado Criminal Jeffrey S. Weiner website - Delitos de Negocios, Delitos de Drogas y Apelaciones

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