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Oklahoma Extortion and Bribery Attorneys

Unfortunately, people will look for almost any opportunity to make money or to gain an advantage financially, and this reality has led to the passage of extremely strict and harsh laws in regards to these efforts. The public demands that people be held accountable for any sort of ‘shady’ dealings, as recent scandals have shown just how harmful they can be.

There are many forms of conduct that could be seen as crimes by those who are responsible for enforcing these laws, and one of them is extortion. Extortion is a crime that involves much more than the widely-held belief that it’s committed by members of the mob on shakedown efforts in an alley – it extends to almost every facet of society, and the Oklahoma legislature has seven distinct laws in place that speck specifically to extortion.

If you or someone you love is facing this charge, you need to contact Privett Law as soon as possible to get the process of building your defense started. In the meantime, below is a brief look at each of these statutes as they exist in Oklahoma.

Definition of Extortion in Oklahoma

Extortion is the obtaining of property from another with his consent, induced by a wrongful use of force or fear, or under color of official right.

As you see, the terms at the end of this definition can be open to interpretation, and the law also includes intent and the mental state of those involved, even though that is not explicitly stated. What this means is that many things could be considered extortion by one person, the alleged victim, but not necessarily the person who’s indicted for this crime.

Extortion Induced by Threats

The following is the statutory definition for this crime in Oklahoma:

Fear such as will constitute extortion, may be induced by a threat, either:
1st. To do an unlawful injury to the person or property of the individual threatened, or to any relative of his or member of his family; or,
2nd. To accuse him, or any relative of his or member of his family, of any crime; or,
3rd. To expose, or impute to him, or them, any deformity or disgrace; or,
4th. To expose any secret affecting him or them.

As you see, there are countless situations that could arise that could be considered extortion induced by threats in Oklahoma, and one requirement that’s not present is that any threats of exposure are true – this is not necessary to constitute extortion, so long as the victim reasonably feels this fear.

Oklahoma Penalties for Extortion

Upon conviction of extortion in Oklahoma, the defendant faces the following penalties:

Every person who extorts or attempts to extort any money or other property from another, under circumstances not amounting to robbery, by means of force or any threat such as is mentioned in Section 1482 of this title, upon conviction, shall be guilty of a felony. A conviction for extortion is punishable by imprisonment in the State Penitentiary for a term not exceeding five (5) years. A conviction for attempted extortion is punishable by imprisonment in the State Penitentiary for a term not exceeding two (2) years.

Punishment for Extortion under Color of Official Right

This statute exists in order to criminalize conduct that amounts to taking of property under the false pretense that the taker is acting under his or her official duty.

Every person who commits any extortion under color of official right, in cases for which a different punishment is not prescribed by this code, or by some of the statutes, which it specifies as continuing in force, is guilty of a misdemeanor.

Other Oklahoma Statutes

There are three more statutes that cover extortion in Oklahoma, and they concern the following:

Obtaining signature by extortionate means – This simply involves inducing someone to sign an authorization or release of some sort under the same threats that were described above.

Penalty for extortionate letters – If a defendant is convicted of the conduct above, he or she will face the same penalties as anyone convicted of extortion in Oklahoma. 

Blackmail – This is an old crime as well, and rather than threatening harm, blackmail constitutes the threat of exposure that would ruin the victim’s reputation. It is a felony, and a convicted defendant can face up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

Serious Oklahoma Criminal Defense

As you see, extortion in Oklahoma can involve many different types of conduct, and can also carry significant consequences if the defendant is convicted of these crimes. If you or someone you love is facing such a situation, contact Privett Law as soon as possible to schedule an initial consultation.