Knoxville Extortion Defense Lawyers

If you have been charged with extortion in Tennessee, the attorneys at the law offices of Baker Associates, will employ powerful defense tactics on your behalf.

Our experience can help you understand the complex legal issues and defenses that arise when you have been charged with extortion. By investigating these issues and defenses we can often find weaknesses and inconsistencies in the government's case that help protect your legal rights. As a former prosecutor, Joseph A. Baker has the knowledge and experience necessary to properly defend you if you have been accused of extortion.

What is Extortion?

Extortion is blackmail. In the typical case, an extortionist is one who threatens another for the purpose of obtaining money or property. The threat is often to do something unlawful. For example, Allen threatens Bob by saying "Give me $100,000, or I'll kidnap your son." The threat, however, need not be unlawful. Sometimes the threat may simply be "pay me $100,000, or I'll tell your wife that you have been sleeping around."

In Tennessee, a person is guilty of extortion if he or she uses "coercion" to obtain property, services, or advantage. A person is also guilty of extortion if he or she uses coercion to unlawfully restrict another's "freedom of action." Coercion is defined as a threat to 1) commit an unlawful act, 2) wrongfully accuse any person of an offense, 3) expose any person to hatred, contempt or ridicule, 4) harm the reputation of a business or person, or 5) take or withhold action as a public servant. Unlike many other jurisdictions, the extortionist need not actually receive the object or compel the action of the victim.

Extortion is a Class D felony. Incarceration ranges from two to twelve years, and fines may not exceed $5000.

The Claim of Right Defense

Even if the State proves its case against you, you may still have available to you the "claim of right" defense. In Tennessee, this defense excuses you from liability if the object of your threat was reasonable under the circumstances. The language of the statute, T.C.A. 39-14-112, reads as follows:

It is an affirmative defense to prosecution for extortion that the person reasonably claimed:

Consider this example. Allen tells Bob that he will have Bob arrested for robbery unless he pays him $100 for $100 worth of groceries. In this scenario, Allen has coerced Bob for the purpose of obtaining money and could be charged for extortion. However, Allen would likely assert the claim of right defense by claiming he made a threat based on a reasonable belief that Bob stole the merchandise and that he is seeking "appropriate restitution" of an amount commiserate with the value of the groceries. If Allen is successful in this defense, then he would not be liable for extortion.

Protecting the Rights of Our Clients

In order to strengthen your position as one of our clients, white collar crime attorney Joseph A. Baker and his associates have received the most up-to-date training available. By attending numerous seminars and colleges, including the prestigious National Criminal Defense College, each attorney at the Knoxville and Sevierville, Tennessee law offices of Baker Associates will fight to see that your rights are protected in court.

If you have been accused of extortion in Tennessee, contact attorney Joseph A Baker and his associates to discuss your case.

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Knox County
2126 First Tennessee Plaza
800 South Gay Street
Knoxville, Tennessee 37929

Phone: (865) 521-0001
Toll-free: (866) 853-2888

Sevier County
121 Court Avenue
Sevierville, Tennessee 37862

Phone: (865) 546-6000
Toll-free: (866) 853-2888

Washington County
300 East Main Street
Johnson City, Tennessee 37601

Tennessee Criminal Defense Law Firm Disclaimer: The extortion, white collar crime, criminal defense or other legal information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice, nor the formation of a lawyer or attorney client relationship. Any results set forth here were dependent on the facts of that case and the results will differ from case to case. Please contact a exortion defense lawyer or criminal attorney at our Tennessee law firm. This web site is not intended to solicit clients for matters outside of the State of Tennessee.

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