Extortion occurs when a criminal takes or steals something from another person through threatening means. According to ARS 13-1804, a person can be accused of theft by extortion in Arizona if they knowingly obtain or try to obtain items with a threat to do one of the following actions in the future:
- Cause physical injury, physical harm, or property damage
- Accuse someone of a crime
- File criminal charges against someone
- Release confidential information to subject someone else to public ridicule
- Use true or false information to ruin someone else’s credit
- Take away someone else’s personal property
Blackmail is one of the most well known types of extortion crimes in Arizona, and it can occur when a person threatens to release embarrassing information that could damage someone else’s reputation. Another form of extortion is known as bribery. Bribery is a serious criminal offense that occurs when money or valuables are used to influence the behavior of a person in a position of trust or dependence. Under Arizona law, the act of accepting a bribe is also considered extortion and is extremely illegal. If you think that you might be under investigation for extortion, blackmail, or bribery in the Phoenix metro area, make sure you talk to a Phoenix extortion attorney who can help you understand the specific legal issues involved in your case.