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Colorado Criminal Extortion and Aggravated Extortion

Colorado Springs Criminal Extortion and Aggravated Extortion Lawyer

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Colorado Revised Statute 18-3-207 defines criminal extortion as threatening someone to commit an act that’s against their will. Meanwhile, aggravated extortion is when you threaten someone to do something against their will by using a deadly weapon. Criminal extortion is classified as a Class 4 felony, while aggravated extortion is a Class 3 felony.

Penalties for Criminal Extortion and Aggravated Extortion in Colorado

Charge Classification Penalty
Criminal Extortion Class 4 Felony
  • A fine of $2,000–$500,000 and/or
  • 2-6 years in prison
  • 3 years mandatory parole
Criminal Extortion Violent Crime
  • A possible fine of $2,000–$500,000 and/or
  • 5-16 years mandatory prison sentence
  • 3 years mandatory parole
Aggravated Extortion Class 3 Felony
  • A fine of $3,000–$750,000 and/or
  • 4–12 years in prison
  • 5 years mandatory parole
Aggravated Extortion Violent Crime
  • A possible fine of $3,000–$750,000
  • A mandatory prison sentence of 10–32 years
(Colo. Rev. Stat. § § 18-3-207, 18-1.3-401, 18-1.3-406, 18-1.3-501.)

Here Is What The Prosecution Must Prove to Convict You

The elements of the crime of false imprisonment are:

  1. That the defendant,
  2. in the State of Colorado, at or about the date and place charged,
  3. without legal authority, and
  4. with the intent,
  5. to induce another person against that other person’s will to perform an act or to refrain from performing a lawful act,
  6. made a substantial threat to confine or restrain, cause economic hardship or bodily injury to, or damage the property or reputation of, the threatened person or another person, and
  7. threatened to cause the result[s] by performing or causing an unlawful act to be performed.
  8. If there is an affirmative defense raised, the prosecution must also prove that the defendant’s conduct was not legally authorized by the affirmative defense.

Possible Defenses for Criminal Extortion or Aggravated Extortion

To be convicted of criminal or aggravated extortion in Colorado, the prosecutor must convince the jury that you have committed the crime. Your criminal defense attorney will create a defense strategy to protect you in court, resulting in decreased or dismissed charges.

Some common defenses for criminal and aggravated extortion include:

  • Insufficient evidence—The prosecutor doesn’t provide proper evidence that you committed the crime
  • Proving the absence of threat or force—You didn’t make a threat or use force
  • You were falsely accused—You were wrongly accused of extortion

Colorado Revised Statutes, CRS 18-3-207:

18-3-207. Criminal Extortion – Aggravated Extortion:

(1) A person commits criminal extortion if:

(a) The person, without legal authority and with the intent to induce another person against that other person’s will to perform an act or to refrain from performing a lawful act, makes a substantial threat to confine or restrain, cause economic hardship or bodily injury to, or damage the property or reputation of, the threatened person or another person; and

(b) The person threatens to cause the results described in paragraph (a) of this subsection

(1) by:

(I) Performing or causing an unlawful act to be performed; or

(II) Invoking action by a third party, including, but not limited to, the state or any of its political subdivisions, whose interests are not substantially related to the interests pursued by the person making the threat.

(1.5) A person commits criminal extortion if the person, with the intent to induce another person against that other person’s will to give the person money or another item of value, threatens to report to law enforcement officials the immigration status of the threatened person or another person.

(2) A person commits aggravated criminal extortion if, in addition to the acts described in subsection (1) of this section, the person threatens to cause the results described in paragraph (a) of subsection (1) of this section by means of chemical, biological, or harmful radioactive agents, weapons, or poison.

(3) For the purposes of this section, “substantial threat” means a threat that is reasonably likely to induce a belief that the threat will be carried out and is one that threatens that significant confinement, restraint, injury, or damage will occur.

(4) Criminal extortion, as described in subsections (1) and (1.5) of this section, is a class 4 felony. Aggravated criminal extortion, as described in subsection (2) of this section, is a class 3 felony.

Have you been charged or arrested for criminal or aggravated extortion in Colorado Springs or El Paso County?

Being convicted of criminal or aggravated extortion in Colorado has serious consequences: several years in prison and high fines. The prosecutor would try to convince the jury that you were acting willfully, meaning you intentionally threatened to harm someone if they did not do or give you what you asked of them.

A criminal conviction requires the jury to find you guilty of your charges. A criminal defense lawyer, however, will use defenses, such as being wrongly accused or not threatening anybody, to make the jury believe you are innocent. You need an experienced criminal defense lawyer to protect you in court against the District Attorney in Colorado Springs.

Don’t let one wrong decision impact your life, job or freedom.

Call today for a free case evaluation.

Colorado criminal procedure

  • Arrest or
    Summons
    01

    Arrest or
    Summons

    The process begins with either an arrest or a summons. The accused is either arrested or served with paperwork summoning them to appear in court. During an arrest, Miranda rights may or may not be read to you. Officers are only required to recite your rights if they intend to question you about potentially incriminating things.

  • Bond Hearing
    02

    Bond Hearing

    In most cases, you're entitled to have a reasonable bond set after you've been arrested. In situations involving domestic violence, the police will request input from the victim before setting a bond. Bonds are set to ensure that a person appears in court at their court dates. If they don’t show up, they forfeit the money that was paid for the bond.

  • Advisement of
    Charges
    03

    Advisement of
    Charges

    Whether you are arrested or given a summons to appear, the court must make sure you understand what crimes you are being accused of committing. This is called advisement of charges. The District Attorney will detail the specific charges against you, and the Judge has to make sure you understand what possible penalties are associated with that charge in the state.

  • Preliminary Hearing
    (for Higher Felony
    Charges)
    04

    Preliminary Hearing
    (for Higher Felony
    Charges)

    A preliminary hearing is a way for your defense attorney to challenge the District Attorney’s right to bring charges against you by making them prove that there is reason to believe you committed a crime. The Judge is not deciding your guilt or innocence, but rather whether or not there is probable cause to charge you with the crime in question.

  • Pretrial Conference /
    Disposition
    Hearing
    05

    Pretrial Conference /
    Disposition
    Hearing

    This court date comes after your attorney has reviewed all of the reports and evidence in your case. Here’s where your attorney will engage in plea negotiations with the DA. If they can reach an agreement on the case, you may be able to take a plea bargain. If they cannot reach a resolution, your case will be set for an arraignment or trial date.

  • Arraignment
    06

    Arraignment

    An arraignment is the final date for you to decide how you choose to plea. Guilty or not guilty. If you plead guilty, then the case is set for a sentencing date. If you plead not guilty, you and your attorney will then set the case for trial.

  • Motions Hearing
    07

    Motions Hearing

    A motion hearing is when an attorney makes a request that requires a decision from the judge. For example, motions to suppress evidence or statements. These motions can limit the information that goes before a jury if it benefits your case, and there are legal grounds for doing so.

  • Pretrial Readiness
    Conference
    08

    Pretrial Readiness
    Conference

    A pretrial readiness conference is held at some point before trial. It usually is held about a week to a month before the date trial is set to begin. This court date ensures everyone is ready to go to trial on the set date. It is also a time for lawyers to bring up any issues they may have to be addressed before the day of trial.

  • Jury Trial
    09

    Jury Trial

    After a jury is selected for trial, the District Attorney’s responsibility is to present the case to the jury. The DA must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you are guilty of the crime. Otherwise, the jury must find you innocent. Your attorney will be able to cross-examine all of the witnesses, present evidence, and ultimately help you navigate this process.

  • Sentencing
    Date
    10

    Sentencing
    Date

    At sentencing, the Judge must decide the appropriate legal penalty for the crime you plead guilty. The Judge’s decision is based on the listed penalties for the specific charge, recommendations from the presentence investigation, your criminal history, as well as statements made at the sentencing by the District Attorney, your attorney, you, and any named victims of the crime.

Frequently Asked Questions

What's the difference between blackmail and extortion?

Blackmail is a form of extortion, but they don’t have the same definition. The primary difference between the two is that blackmail is when someone threatens to expose personal or damaging information about another person if they don’t comply with their wishes. Meanwhile, extortion is making threats against property or harming someone if they don’t comply.

Do I have to go to prison if convicted of extortion in Colorado?

Yes, in Colorado, criminal and aggravated extortion are punishable by time in prison. If a violent crime aggravates your charge, you may receive several more years in prison with mandatory parole.

How can a criminal defense lawyer help me with my extortion charge?

A criminal defense lawyer will protect your rights, and they will try to convince the jury that you’re innocent. They’ll refute what the prosecutor says by providing solid evidence and using defense strategies to show that you were either wrongly accused or meant no harm by your statements.

Still, your freedom isn’t guaranteed, but an experienced attorney can help you reduce your sentence.