Theft by Extortion Charges 2C:20-5

Mercer County NJ Theft by Extortion Lawyers

If you have been charged with theft by extortion in Mercer County, New Jersey it is imperative that you speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney. Theft by extortion is a second degree felony offense in New Jersey. The potential penalties are life changing. For starters, anyone convicted of this offense will be facing up to a decade behind bars, let alone a fine up to $150,000. To make matters worse, based on the new bail reforms, a Defendant charged with this type of offense could find themselves being detained in the Mercer County Jail without bail, pending trial. Pursuant to the bail reforms, if the prosecution sees fit, they can file for a Detention Hearing at which point they can seek to have a Defendant held without bail, pending trial. So, now more than ever, time is really of the essence to get a Mercer County theft lawyer involved as soon as possible. They can contest the detention hearing and seek to have the Defendant released on one of the several pretrial conditions that exists.

If you have been charged with theft by extortion, aggravated assault, terroristic threats, criminal restraint, theft, theft by deception or robbery, the  Law Offices of Proetta & Oliver can help. Our attorneys have been representing clients accused of charges just like this, in courts in Mercer County, for almost a decade now. We are ready and willing to help assist in anyway that we can. We fully understand what is on the line when someone is charged with a serious second degree felony offense like theft by extortion. We represent clients accused of theft offenses in towns like Hamilton, Trenton, East Windsor, Princeton, Lawrence, Hopewell and Robbinsville.  If you would like to speak to us about your options then please contact us at (609)789-0779. We discuss the specifics of your case and assess the strengths and weaknesses. As always, our initial consultations are free of costs. So, if you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us. Now here is some crucial information on the offense of theft by extortion, including the potential penalties.

Theft by Extortion Lawyers in Trenton NJ

Charged with a violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:20-5 in NJ?

Theft by extortion is governed by N.J.S.A. 2C:20-5. It is a rather straight forward offense, in essence anyone will be charged under this section of the statute if they obtain property of another by extortion. In order to be convicted, the prosecution would need to prove beyond a reasonable doubt three material elements, which are:

  • The Defendant obtained property of another;
  • The Defendant had the purpose to obtain the property by unlawful means; &
  • That the Defendant obtained the property by extortion.

The term “property” includes just about anything of value. It could be a phone, a house, money, a car, trade secrets, contract rights etc. What is tricker, is trying to determine what qualifies as extortion. In order to prove extortion, the prosecution can seek to establish on one of the following:

  • That the Defendant Inflicted bodily injury on or physically confined or restrained the victim; or
  • That the Defendant unlawfully accused the victim of committing a criminal offense or caused criminal charges to be brought against the victim; or
  • That the Defendant exposed a secret that subjected the victim to hatred, or ridicule, or destroy their business repute; or
  • That the Defendant testified or provided information or withhold testimony or information with respect to the victim’s legal claim or defense; or
  • That the Defendant inflicted any other type of harm which would not substantially benefit the Defendant but which is calculated to materially harm the victim.

So as you can see, there are various different ways in which a Defendant can be accused of extortion in New Jersey. In addition, the list mentioned above is not exclusive. The most common factual basis behind a theft by extortion charge in Mercer County is when someone tries to obtain property of another based on the threat of revealing a secret. If you have been charged with this offense and would like to speak to one of our attorneys about your options, then please contact our office.

What are the Penalties for Extortion in NJ?

Theft by extortion is a second degree indictable (felony) offense in New Jersey. If convicted, a Defendant would be facing up to five (5) to ten (10) years in a State Prison, a fine up to $150,000, a felony criminal record and restitution. Second degree felony offenses in New Jersey carry a presumption of imprisonment. Which means, it is almost certain that anyone convicted of a second degree felony offense will be sentenced to a term in a New Jersey State Prison. Do to the severity of this offense, a Defendant’s attorney would really need to put forth a strong case for the prosecution if they are seeking to have their client enrolled in either the Pretrial Intervention Program (PTI) or Drug Court.  Both of these programs would keep a Defendant out of jail.

Extortion Lawyers in Princeton NJ

As you can see from reading above, theft by extortion is a very serious offense and one that truly carries life changing consequences if convicted. If you have been arrested and charged with receiving stolen property, theft of movable property, theft of an automobile, theft by extortion, theft by deception or burglary, in Mercer County, the Law Offices of Proetta & Oliver can help. Our attorneys will fight to protect your freedom. We appear in courts throughout Mercer County, including courts like the Mercer County Superior Court, the Hamilton Municipal Court, the Princeton Municipal Court, the Ewing Municipal Court, the East Windsor Municipal Court and the Trenton Municipal Court. To speak to one of our attorneys today about your options, please contact us at (609)789-0779.