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Crimes of Extortion



Understanding Crimes of Extortion

When it comes to navigating the complexities of white-collar crimes in Florida, understanding the nuances of crimes of extortion is crucial. Extortion, often seen in the form of shakedowns, bribery, or blackmail, is not just a plot in crime dramas but a real-world issue that impacts individuals and businesses alike. At Leppard Law, our seasoned team, helmed by Joe Easton, John Vallillo, and Joel Leppard, brings over 60 years of collective experience in criminal defense, providing a strategic and personalized approach to each case.

What exactly constitutes a crime of extortion in Florida? Extortion involves the use of threats, coercion, or intimidation to obtain money, goods, or services, even when the threat is to a person’s mental well-being rather than physical harm.

Florida law outlines extortion as a second-degree felony, with penalties that can severely impact one’s freedom and future. The law specifies that extortion may include threats of physical harm, damage to property or reputation, exposure of secrets, or imposing shame or ridicule. This broad definition means that extortion can take many forms, from traditional physical threats to modern cyberextortion tactics.

Key Elements of Extortion Under Florida Law

Understanding the key elements of extortion is paramount for anyone facing these charges or seeking to understand their legal standing. Under Florida Statute Section 836.05, a conviction for extortion requires proving several elements, including the communication of threats with the intent to gain financially or compel someone to act against their will. Importantly, the statute emphasizes that the threat must be made maliciously, without lawful justification, and with the intent to extort.

In recent years, the rise of cyberextortion crimes has added a new layer of complexity to extortion offenses. These crimes often involve hacking or threatening to release sensitive information unless a ransom is paid. The digital nature of these crimes presents unique challenges for both prosecution and defense, making experienced legal representation more important than ever.

At Leppard Law, our approach to defending against extortion charges is rooted in a deep understanding of both the law and the evolving nature of these crimes. Whether you’re facing traditional extortion charges or are a victim of cyberextortion, our team is equipped to provide the innovative and effective defense strategies you need. With over 300 five-star Google reviews, our commitment to excellence and client satisfaction speaks for itself.

If you’re grappling with accusations of extortion, don’t wait to seek legal help. Contact Leppard Law today at 407-476-4111 to schedule your free consultation. Let our experienced team guide you through the complexities of your case, fighting for the best possible outcome every step of the way.

Penalties for Crimes of Extortion in Florida

Being convicted of extortion in Florida carries severe legal consequences that can alter the course of your life. The state categorizes extortion as a second-degree felony, reflecting the seriousness with which the law views these offenses. Understanding the potential penalties is crucial for anyone facing such charges or for those seeking to comprehend the legal landscape surrounding extortion.

The penalties for a conviction of extortion in Florida can include up to 15 years in prison, 15 years of probation, and fines up to $10,000.

However, the repercussions extend beyond time behind bars and financial penalties. A felony conviction on your record can significantly hinder employment opportunities, professional licensing, voting rights, and the ability to own firearms. The stigma associated with a criminal record of this nature can also impact personal relationships and community standing.

Legal Gavel and Books

Impact of Extortion Convictions

The impact of an extortion conviction extends into various aspects of an individual’s life. Beyond the immediate penalties, individuals may face:

  • Employment Challenges: Many employers are hesitant to hire individuals with a felony record, particularly for positions of trust or financial responsibility.
  • Professional Licensing: Convictions can lead to the revocation or denial of professional licenses, crucial for careers in law, healthcare, finance, and education.
  • Social Stigma: The label of being a convicted felon can strain personal relationships and community interactions, leading to social isolation.
  • Loss of Civil Rights: Felony convictions result in the loss of certain civil rights, such as voting, holding public office, serving on a jury, and possessing firearms.

Given these far-reaching consequences, it’s evident that an extortion charge in Florida is a matter that requires immediate and skilled legal intervention. At Leppard Law, our experienced team understands the gravity of these charges and the impact they can have on your life. We are committed to providing a robust defense aimed at achieving the best possible outcome for our clients.

If you or someone you know is facing extortion charges, it’s crucial to act swiftly to protect your rights and future. Contact Leppard Law at 407-476-4111 to schedule a free consultation. Our team, with a combined experience of over 60 years in criminal defense, including expertise in white-collar crimes like extortion, is ready to offer you the personalized and effective legal representation you deserve.

Examples and Types of Extortion

Extortion, a term that conjures images of shadowy figures and whispered threats, is far more complex and multifaceted than many realize. In Florida, it spans from traditional strong-arm tactics to sophisticated cyberextortion schemes. Let’s explore the landscape of extortion to understand its various manifestations.

  • Traditional Extortion: This form involves direct threats of harm or damage unless payment or another form of value is transferred. It can range from protection rackets to threatening to reveal damaging information unless paid off.
  • Public Corruption and Bribery: A form of extortion where public officials demand bribes for favorable decisions or to avoid legal troubles. Bribery of a public servant falls under this category.
  • Blackmail: Leveraging private information to coerce someone into paying money or performing actions against their will. It’s a manipulation of personal secrets for gain.
  • Cyberextortion: A modern twist where criminals use hacking to gain compromising information or to lock access to critical data, demanding payment for its return or secrecy.

What is Cyberextortion? Cyberextortion involves using threats of harm or actual harm to computer systems or data to extort money or other benefits from individuals or organizations.

Each type of extortion carries its nuances, but they all share a common thread: the exploitation of fear and vulnerability. Whether it’s the fear of physical harm, the destruction of one’s reputation, or the crippling of a business, extortionists prey on these fears to achieve their ends.

At Leppard Law, we understand the complexities surrounding cases of extortion. Our experienced team, including Joe Easton and John Vallillo, leverages over 60 years of combined experience to offer robust defense strategies for those accused of or victimized by extortion.

Cyberextortion: A Rising Threat

The digital age has given rise to a new form of extortion: cyberextortion. Criminals exploit the anonymity and reach of the internet to commit these crimes, often leaving victims feeling helpless and exposed.

  • Ransomware Attacks: Hackers lock access to vital data or entire computer systems, demanding payment for the release key. These attacks can cripple businesses and cost millions in damages and ransoms.
  • Online Blackmail: Individuals may find their sensitive or compromising information stolen, with threats of public exposure unless demands are met. This form of cyberextortion preys on personal vulnerabilities.
  • DDoS Extortion: Threats to overwhelm websites with traffic, effectively taking them offline, unless payment is made. This can be devastating for online businesses.

Addressing cyberextortion requires a sophisticated approach, blending legal acumen with an understanding of technology. At Leppard Law, we pride ourselves on being at the forefront of technology, utilizing our expertise to protect our clients’ rights and interests in the digital realm. If you’re facing charges or are a victim of cyberextortion, don’t wait. Contact us today at 407-476-4111 for a free consultation and take the first step towards securing your digital safety and legal rights.


Defending Against Extortion Charges

When you’re facing extortion charges, the stakes couldn’t be higher. This complex legal battleground demands not just a deep understanding of the law but a strategic, personalized defense approach. At Leppard Law, we recognize the nuances of these cases, tailoring our defense strategies to the unique circumstances of each client. Here’s how we tackle these challenging cases:

  • Comprehensive Case Review: Every detail of the accusation is scrutinized, from the alleged threats to the evidence presented.
  • Identifying Weaknesses in the Prosecution’s Case: We look for inconsistencies, lack of evidence, or any factor that could undermine the credibility of the charges.
  • Strategic Negotiations: When appropriate, we engage in negotiations to potentially reduce charges or penalties, always with the client’s best interest at heart.
  • Preparation for Trial: If a case goes to trial, we’re prepared to aggressively defend our clients, leveraging our extensive trial experience.

Did you know? The right defense strategy can significantly impact the outcome of an extortion case. This might include challenging the prosecution’s evidence, demonstrating a lack of intent, or proving that the threats were not made maliciously.

Extortion charges can be daunting, but with Leppard Law, you have a team that’s ready to fight for you. Our approach combines legal expertise with a commitment to defending your rights and reputation.

Leppard Law’s Approach to Extortion Defense

At Leppard Law, we’re not just attorneys; we’re your staunch defenders in the face of extortion charges. Our team, led by Joe Easton and John Vallillo, brings over 60 years of combined experience to the table. Here’s what sets us apart:

  • Personalized Defense: We understand that each case is unique. That’s why we tailor our defense strategies to the specific details of your situation.
  • Experienced Team: With a background in both prosecution and defense, our team offers a comprehensive understanding of the legal system.
  • Commitment to Communication: You’ll never be in the dark about your case. We prioritize clear, open communication with our clients.
  • Innovative Strategies: Our team stays abreast of the latest legal developments and technologies to ensure we’re always a step ahead.

Our track record speaks for itself. With countless extortion case victories, our firm has earned a reputation for excellence in the legal community. But don’t just take our word for it; our client testimonials highlight the personal touch and dedication we bring to every case.

Charged with extortion? It’s time to turn the tables. Contact Leppard Law at 407-476-4111 today for a free consultation. Let us show you what a difference a dedicated, experienced legal team can make in your defense.


Infographic depicting the words Crimes of Extortion

What is Extortion?

Extortion involves the use of threats, coercion, or intimidation to obtain money, goods, services, or some advantage from another person. In Florida, it can also include threats to a person’s mental well-being as a form of injury.

How is Cyberextortion Different from Traditional Extortion?

Cyberextortion occurs over the internet or through electronic communications, often involving threats to release or exploit stolen information unless a demand is met. Unlike traditional extortion, it may not involve direct personal contact.

What are the Penalties for Extortion in Florida?

Extortion is classified as a second-degree felony in Florida, punishable by up to 15 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. It carries a Level 6 offense severity ranking under Florida’s Criminal Punishment Code.

How Can Leppard Law Help Me Defend Against Extortion Charges?

Leppard Law offers personalized defense strategies, leveraging over 60 years of combined experience in both prosecution and defense. We focus on identifying weaknesses in the prosecution’s case, strategic negotiations, and rigorous trial preparation to defend your rights and reputation.

For more on our approach, visit our page on defending against extortion charges.

Other Practice Areas We Serve

In addition to specializing in crimes of extortion, we offer comprehensive legal services across a wide range of related practice areas in Florida.

Abuse of Public Position Crimes Prohibited Access to Stored Communications
Florida Anti-Tampering Act Bribery of a Public Servant
Criminal Investigations of Charities Computer Hacking
Deceptive Marketing Practices Economic Crimes
Embezzlement Environmental Crimes in Florida
Financial Exploitation of the Elderly Forgery Crimes
Identity Theft Crimes in Florida Federal Crime of Identity Theft
Orlando Illegal Gambling Defense Lawyers Regulatory Crimes Defense Lawyers

List of Top-Rated Crimes of Extortion Attorneys Serving Florida

Choosing the right legal representation is crucial when facing charges of extortion. Our team of seasoned attorneys at Leppard Law is committed to providing you with the best possible defense, ensuring you’re well-informed and prepared at every step of the process.

  • John Vallillo: With over 25 years of experience, John Vallillo combines his background as both a prosecutor and defense attorney to offer strategic and effective legal representation.
  • Joe Easton: Lead Attorney Joe Easton, with his 20+ years of criminal defense experience and former prosecutor insights, specializes in crafting winning defenses and negotiating favorable outcomes.
  • Joel Leppard: As the founder of Leppard Law, Joel Leppard’s innovative approach and personal commitment to each case have led to numerous dismissals and reduced charges for his clients.

Discover What Our Clients Are Saying

At Leppard Law, we pride ourselves on our hard work and dedication to our clients. The stellar reviews we receive are a testament to our commitment to excellence and client satisfaction. These reviews are just a portion of our hundreds of 5-star reviews on platforms like Facebook, Google, Thumbtack, and Yelp. You can read more 5-star reviews here.



Infographic depicting the words Crimes of Extortion

Take the First Step Towards Your Defense Today

At Leppard Law: White Collar Crimes Defense Attorneys, we understand the weight of facing criminal charges, especially those as serious as extortion. Our dedicated team, led by Joe Easton and John Vallillo, brings over 60 years of combined criminal defense experience to the table. We’re not just your attorneys; we’re your allies, fighting tirelessly to secure the best possible outcome for your case.

Why choose us?

  • Personal Relationship With Your Attorney: We know the importance of having someone who not only knows your case inside and out but also understands you. At Leppard Law, you’re treated like family.
  • Former Prosecutors on Your Side: Our unique perspective as former prosecutors means we know both sides of the courtroom. This insight allows us to craft a defense strategy that’s always one step ahead.
  • Client-Centered Approach: Your voice is our mission. We ensure clear, consistent communication throughout your case, because your peace of mind is our priority.
  • Technology-Driven Defense: Led by tech enthusiast Joel Leppard, we leverage the latest in legal technology to enhance our defense strategies, making our services not only effective but also efficient.

Our commitment to excellence and personalized attention has earned us a place among the “Best Criminal Defense Lawyers in Orlando” by Expertise from 2016-2024 and a spot on Yelp’s list of “Best Lawyers in Orlando”. But don’t just take our word for it. Experience the difference by reaching out to us today.

Don’t let the burden of criminal charges weigh you down. Contact Leppard Law: White Collar Crimes Defense Attorneys at 407-476-4111 to schedule your free consultation. Let us show you what it means to have a dedicated, experienced team fighting for you. Your defense starts the moment you call.

Awards and Recognitions

We are proud to be recognized for our dedication and excellence in legal services. Here are just a few of the awards we have received:

These awards are a testament to our unwavering commitment to providing exceptional legal representation and personalized attention to each of our clients. Let us put our award-winning experience to work for you.

Legally Reviewed by Joe Easton

Expert Attorney

Legally reviewed by Joe Easton and the content team, this article reflects our firm’s 60 years of combined criminal defense expertise. Joe Easton, with his extensive experience and strategic prowess in DUI and criminal defense, offers more than just legal representation; he brings a commitment to turning legal challenges into victories. His approach, combining tenacity in the courtroom with personalized client care, ensures your case is not just defended but championed with dedication and expertise.

Learn More About Joe Easton