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When trying to prove a case of extortion against the accused, the prosecution must prove the threat – either uttered verbally or in writing. For instance, blackmail letters are proof of threat of extortion. It is sufficient that the prosecution prove that the victim believed that the accused was capable of carrying out the threat. The fact that the accused did not have the means to carry out the threat is immaterial to the case.

The prosecution must also prove intent to gain from the threat. The accused must have planned to gain some material advantage by making the threat.

When fighting a case of extortion the prosecution must prove the malicious intent of the accused. This means that the prosecution must show that the accused threatened to reveal information that could damage the victim in some manner. This can be financial damage or psychological. The damage good also be to the good name or reputation of the victim. The threat to expose a person’s deformities, lack of chastity, and so on is covered under the law of extortion.

Further, Florida law makes it clear that the accused can be convicted of extortion even in the information threatened to be revealed covered unlawful activities by the victim. For instance, the law will consider it extortion if the accused has threatened to reveal tax evasion by the victim and therefore obtained financial benefits from the victim according to the Broward Criminal Lawyers of William Moore Criminal Defense.

Florida Statute 836.05 Threats; extortion

Whoever, either verbally or by a written or printed communication, maliciously threatens to accuse another of any crime or offense, or by such communication maliciously threatens an injury to the person, property or reputation of another, or maliciously threatens to expose another to disgrace, or to expose any secret affecting another, or to impute any deformity or lack of chastity to another, with intent thereby to extort money or any pecuniary advantage whatsoever, or with intent to compel the person so threatened, or any other person, to do any act or refrain from doing any act against his or her will, shall be guilty of a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.


In Florida, extortion is a second degree felony. This means that a person convicted of extortion can be imprisoned for up to fifteen years, fined $10,000, or both. Additionally, habitual offenders, those with prior criminal convictions, and so on can face a longer term in prison.William Moore is a veteran Broward criminal lawyer with over 150 criminal jury trials under his belt. Remember, if you are looking for competent representation, always consider an attorney’s past history and experience before deciding. Criminal convictions can be devastating on the accused and his or her family.

The Broward criminal defense lawyers at the law firm of William R. Moore Criminal Defense not only deliver decades of knowledge and experience but also provides legal representation that is steadfast fueled by determination.  If you or a loved one has just been arrested for extortion in the Broward County or Fort Lauderdale area or are facing criminal charges, contact extortion defense  lawyer William R. Moore for immediate legal answers.


In general, the only possible defense against an accusation of extortion is self-defense. The defense lawyers or attorneys can try and prove that the threat uttered by the defendant was made in self-defense, for instance, after the plaintiff had threatened the defendant.

What about Extortion among Family Members? 

According to Broward Criminal Lawyers, threats issued to family members about exposing their secrets in order to obtain financial benefits are also considered extortion. For instance, if during divorce negotiations, one spouse or their lawyer makes statements that threaten to reveal wrongdoings of the other spouse to obtain a better financial settlement, it could be a case of extortion. This can happen if a spouse is aware of tax irregularities, or medical irregularities, or is in a position to damage the other spouse’s business interests by revealing personal and family matters to clients, the public, or the extended family.

Florida law considers extortion to be a second degree felony and penalizes it accordingly. Those threatened by blackmail letters or extortion attempts can take the protection of the law to safeguard their interests.

For more information about this type of case contact Attorney William Moore
(954) 523-5333