NRS 205.320: Extortion & Blackmail Laws in Nevada: Definition, Penalties, and More
In Nevada, blackmail and extortion are considered the same thing.
Some of the most common forms of either blackmail or extortion are:
- Falsely accusing another person of committing a crime
- Threatening to expose the secrets of another that may damage their reputation.
- Threatening to harm or injure another in some way
- Threaten to publish untrue statements about another
- Threaten to expose an individual in a way that may cause public disgrace
- Threatening physical violence if another does not help them to commit a criminal act.
These are serious offenses that could land someone in prison for a long time and prevent someone from gaining employment or even things like renting an apartment may be difficult.
If you have been charged with blackmail and or extortion, then you need to seek qualified representation as soon as possible.
Besides a lengthy prison term, you also face severe penalties and restitution.
Contact The Defenders for a consultation appointment as soon as possible.
What Is Blackmail in Nevada?
Extortion or blackmail is defined in N.R.S 205.320 as deliberately threatening someone’s health, property, or reputation in order to gain money or influence.
Extortion is actually the legal term for blackmail.
Extortion has to have two elements that must be proven to be considered a crime.
The first is that the defendant must have intent to either:
- Gain money or property
- Influence a public officer like a judge or congressman
- Do any wrongful act
The second element is that a threat has been made to either:
- Accuse another of a crime even if they didn’t commit that crime
- To threaten someone’s property
- Publish things that are not true about another person ( this is called Libel)
- Expose another person’s secrets or scandal
Extortion is a very broad crime with a wide scope that can apply to any situation where someone wrongfully threatens another to try and obtain something of value.
Celebrities are often the targets of blackmail or extortion schemes.
A famous example is a former producer of a celebrity talk show host who threatened to sell a screenplay detailing this talk show host’s sexual infidelity unless the former producer was paid two million dollars.
Federal Extortion Laws
Blackmail or extortion is considered a Federal Crime as well as a Nevada State Crime.
It becomes a Federal case when a defendant uses interstate communications over state lines to commit extortion.
In this case, prosecutors may bring criminal charges in Federal court rather than state court.
What Are the Penalties for Extortion Charges
Blackmail is a Category B felony in Nevada and has penalties of:
- One to ten years in prison
- Up to $10,000 in fines
One exception to these penalties is if you are accused or convicted of extorting a debt.
If you have created a situation where the debtor believes that failure to repay the debt will result in:
- Harm to themselves, either physically
- Harm to a loved one, usually through physical injury
- Damage to the debtor’s property
This crime has a maximum penalty of not more than 6 years in prison.
Being convicted of extortion in Federal prison could land you 2 years in Federal prison and a fine based on the judge’s discretion.
Is Extortion Different Than Robbery or Bribery
Bribery is different from extortion in that bribery is when someone offers something of value to another to persuade them to do something for them.
Robbery is a violent crime that involves taking property from another by either force or threat of injury.
With extortion, you are threatening someone to gain something of value from the victim.
What Are the Strategies for a Defense of an Extortion Charge in Nevada
The most effective defenses against extortion or blackmail charges depend entirely on the specifics of the case.
The following are the most common defenses a legal team will use to fight your case.
- No Intent: Blackmail is an intent-driven crime in Nevada and can be hard to prove. Since you can read someone’s mind the prosecutor may have a tough time proving intent. Some ways that intent can be proven are:
- Communications by the defendant such as texts ,emails or other communications
- Eyewitnesses to the alleged blackmail
- Surveillance video of the alleged blackmail
- You made a legitimate offer: if the prosecutors cannot prove that you did not make an actual contract offer and it does not rise to blackmail then the charges should be dropped. For example, if you buy a car and don’t make the payments, the car dealer may call and say that your car will be repossessed if payment isn’t made. The car owner claims that he or she is being blackmailed by the car dealer. This however is not the case since the car owner entered into a contract with the car dealer that includes repossession if the car is not paid for.
- False accusations: People make false accusations against others for many reasons including revenge or anger. Police are to investigate any suspected crime before someone is arrested but things sometimes fall through the cracks. If your defense team can show that the accusations against you are false then the case should not move forward.
Related Crimes to Extortion or Blackmail
Some similar crimes that either fall under the scope of an extortion charge or another:
- Libel: When a defendant intentionally publishes lies about another that paint them in a negative light. Think Johnny Depp / Amber Heard.
- Racketeering: the furtherance of an unlawful business. Think organized crime like the mafia.
- Coercion: when a person uses intimidation, deprivation, or force to get someone to do something they are not legally obligated to do. Sometimes to get someone to commit a crime.
- Gang Crimes: Gang related felonies are an added charge to extortion and blackmail charges. They are usually an enhancement to the underlying charge.
- Sextortion: Selling or posting online naked or sexual photos or videos without the consent of the person depicted. This is referred to as revenge porn usually used by someone who felt they were wronged by another.
Facing Extortion Charges? Call The Defenders
If you have been arrested for the crime of extortion under NRS 205.320, don’t hesitate to contact The Defenders for a case review.
Our goal to our clients is to get the case dismissed or reduced.
The Defenders has a stellar reputation for getting cases reduced or dismissed with evidence driven investigations.
The Defenders will help with getting you or a loved one out on bail for the charges of extortion.
Once out on bail we will work with you to defend against the charges.
Our team of experts will investigate the charges and evidence against you and come up with a plan and defense to fight the charges.
We can advise you on whether or not to take a plea deal or go to trial. If needed we will do everything to avoid our clients going to jail.