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CRS 18-3-207

Colorado Criminal Extortion and Aggravated Extortion

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.

Let’s face it. Life happens.

No one wants to get in trouble, but when it happens, what do you do?

If you have been arrested or charged with a crime, the best decision you can make is to
hire a good criminal defense attorney. With the right defense lawyer in your corner, you
will be advised and guided towards the best outcome for your case.

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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

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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

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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?

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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.

Frequently Asked Questions

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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.

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