Colorado’s extortion laws are defined by CRS 18-3-207. Generally speaking, extortion is blackmailing somebody. It is when a person has damaging information about somebody else and threatens to use publish that information unless they are compensated for not doing it. While the First Amendment to the United States Constitution protects our right to say anything true, it becomes extortion when a person agrees not to do so in exchange for money or other compensation.

Recently, this concept has been expanded to also apply to a person’s immigration status.

Contact a Colorado criminal defense lawyer representing clients in Denver, CO today to schedule your initial consultation.

The legislature defines extortion in the following four ways:

Extortion – Unlawful Act

  • That the defendant,
  • in the State of Colorado, at or about the date and place charged,
  • 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,
  • 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
  • threatened to cause the result[s] by performing or causing an unlawful act to be performed.

Extortion – Third Party

  • That the defendant,
  • in the State of Colorado, at or about the date and place charged,
  • 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,
  • 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
  • threatened to cause the result[s] by invoking action by a third party, including but not limited to, the state or any of its political subdivisions, whose interests were not substantially related to the interests pursued by the defendant.

Extortion – Immigration Status

  • That the defendant,
  • in the State of Colorado, at or about the date and place charged,
  • with the intent,
  • to induce another person against that other person’s will to give the defendant money or another item of value,
  • threatened to report to law enforcement officials the immigration status of the threatened person or another person.

Aggravated Extortion

  • That the defendant,
  • in the State of Colorado, at or about the date and place charged,
  • without legal authority, and
  • with the intent,
  • to induce another person against that other person’s will to perform an act or refrain from performing a lawful act,
  • made a substantial threat to confine or restrain, cause an economic hardship or bodily injury to, or damage the property or reputation of, the threatened person or another person, and
  • threatened to cause the result[s] by means of chemical, biological, or harmful radioactive agents, weapons, or poison.

Aggravated extortion is a class 3 felony. The potential penalties include 4 to 12 years in prison with 5 years of mandatory parole and a fine of up to $750,000. Under certain circumstances aggravated extortion can also include the crime of violence sentencing making it punishable by 10 to 32 years in prison.

If you would like to schedule an initial consultation, contact a Colorado criminal defense attorney, we represent clients in Denver, Colorado, and the surrounding area. The Savela Law Firm, P.C. Give us a call at (303) 856-5700 or complete our inquiry form.

Extortion typically requires a threat to be made to the person or property of the victim. It is not necessarily a threat to cause physical injury, it can just be a secret that would result in embarrassment or financial loss.

There are defenses to extortion that can be used to get the case either dismissed, reduced, or win an acquittal at trial. These include elemental defenses like the lack of a threat or absence of substantial threat, observation of coercion, or lack of ability to carry out the threat and the alleged victim’s knowledge.

If you have been charged with burglary an experienced Denver DUI attorney is essential. Get in touch with experienced Denver burglary defense attorneys Jason Savela and Ryan Dawson by filling out our online contact form or by calling (303) 856-5700.