Bail Bond for Felony Extortion PC 518

If you or a loved one find yourselves in a difficult situation, we understand the urgency and stress that comes with it. At Angels Bail Bonds, we specialize in providing the support and assistance needed to secure bail for extortion charges.

Learn the basics about the bail process for a felony extortion charge, and then contact Angels Bail Bonds today. Let us be your trusted partner in navigating the process for bail for extortion charges. We are here to help you regain your freedom and prepare for your legal journey.

What is bail?

Bail in California refers to the amount of money or property that a defendant or their surety (a person responsible for the defendant’s appearance in court) must deposit with the court to secure the defendant’s release from custody while awaiting trial.

The purpose of bail is to ensure that the defendant appears in court for all scheduled hearings and does not flee before the trial. A county bail schedule or table determines bail money amounts. Still, a judge can deviate from the schedule based on various factors, including the severity of the offense, the defendant’s criminal history, and whether the defendant is a risk to public safety. If the defendant fails to appear in court, the bail is forfeited, and a warrant may be issued for their arrest.

What are bail bonds?

When you find yourself in a situation where you can’t afford to pay for your bail, bail bonds might be the solution for you. A bail bondsman will charge you a fee in exchange for providing the payment. Bail bond companies in California charge only 10% of the total bail amount to post-bond for a defendant. So, if the cost of bail is $20,000, the bondsman will charge $2,000 instead of the full amount. While this may still seem like a lot of money, it’s much more affordable than paying the entire bail amount, especially on extremely high bail amounts for some serious felonies.

Those rates can be as high as 20% for some immigration and federal charges because these rates are set by law, and all bail companies must charge the same amount. Despite the costs, using a bail bondsman can be a lifesaver for those who cannot afford to be released from custody on bail or need any help navigating the bail process.

What happens at a bail hearing?

A crucial part of the bail process is the hearing, when the amount of bail is normally set at the person’s initial court appearance, often known as the arraignment stage or pre-trial detention. A judge can either release a person on their own recognizance (OR) with a promise to appear in court at a later date or deny their OR.

If the charges are infraction offenses or even some misdemeanor offenses—such as a DUI with no accident injuries or significant property damage— the person will usually be released without bail after being arrested. More serious felony charges that might mean a danger to public safety, like assault with a deadly weapon or with bodily injury to the victim, or even murder, will not have OR as an option and will only be released from custody on bail.

You must pay the bail amount or post a bail bond on the bail schedule. An arresting officer might ask for a higher bail amount than what the schedule suggests.

What Factors Influence a Defendant’s Bail Amount?

The bail bond process starts when a defendant is in front of a judge to determine bail. Then, several factors are put into play, including the severity of the crime, criminal history, whether the defendant is a flight risk, community ties, financial resources, their potential danger to public safety, and even mental health, which are considered when determining bail amount.

The bail schedule further gives guidance for all criminal charges, with the judge having some leeway in the specific amounts, as mentioned. And even if they’re allowed out on bail, the defendant might have to be placed under house arrest, be prohibited from owning any deadly weapons or placed under electronic monitoring.

A good bail bonds company and a criminal defense attorney can help you navigate and understand these factors, possibly even lowering the bail amount.

Have you been charged with criminal Felony Extortion PC 518?

If you’ve been charged with a criminal offense, you or a loved one must contact the experts at Angels Bail Bonds immediately. Our team of bail bondsmen and criminal defense lawyers provide assistance during pre-trial detention at no extra cost, including nationwide.

What is Felony Extortion?

The crime of extortion can be described in simple terms as theft in which the perpetrator threatens an individual with force or fear or by using their official positions to hand over their property, money, or “considerations.”

It involves malicious intent to induce fear or intimidate the victim into giving up their property or complying with the demands of the perpetrator. This can include actions such as threatening physical harm, damaging property, or revealing damaging information about the victim. A more common name for extortion is “blackmail,” and California extortion law treats them as the same.

PC 518 makes specific mention of extortion against public officials, who are frequently the victims of these types of crimes. It is also extortion if a peace officer, member of law enforcement, or government official uses their “color of official right” or position to threaten and compel someone to give up their valuables or consideration.

We can find the exact definition of extortion in California Penal Code 518, which states, (a) Extortion is the obtaining of property or other consideration from another, with his or her consent, or the obtaining of an official act of a public officer, induced by a wrongful use of force or fear, or under color of official right.

Extortion is different from petty theft. This crime involves using force, violence, fear, or threats to intimidate the rightful owner of property. That’s why it’s often referred to as blackmail.

The penal code, in PC 519, further details what qualifies as inducing fear by a threat:

  1. To do an unlawful injury to the person or property of the individual threatened or of a third person.
  2. To accuse the individual threatened, or a relative of his or her, or a member of his or her family, of a crime.
  3. To expose or to impute to him, her, or them a deformity, disgrace, or crime.
  4. To expose a secret affecting him, her, or them.
  5. To report his, her, or their immigration status or suspected immigration status.

PC 518(b) also defines “considerations” because extortion can sometimes be used to force the victim to give up something else of value that is not just property or money. Still, it can mean anything, including sexual conduct, an image of their body part, or something more.

All extortion crimes are felony offenses in California and are punishable by up to four years in county jail or state prison and $10,000 in fines.

The penalties can be harsher in an extortion conviction if there was bodily injury to the property owner or if a firearm was involved in the crime, along with other factors. This is called the great bodily injury sentencing enhancement, where a period of time of up to six years in jail can be added to an extortion conviction.

Penalties for extortion convictions can be more severe in cases where there was a bodily injury to the property owner or if a firearm was used in the crime. This is known as the great bodily injury sentencing enhancement, which can result in an additional jail sentence of up to six years on top of the extortion conviction.

If threats of fear or violence were used to steal a motor vehicle or property from the person against their consent, then the defendant will likely not face the charge of extortion or a charge of carjacking or robbery.

Criminal threat vs Extortion

Extortion should also not be confused with PC 422, which is a criminal threat. Charges of criminal threat involve the wilful threat of committing a crime that can result in death or great bodily injury to another, with the intent of instilling fear into the victim. The threat can be either verbal, written, or other means of electronic communication. It doesn’t matter if there was no intent to actually carry out the criminal act, but having the intention of making the victim believe it was possible is enough. This crime is charged either as a misdemeanor or felony offense, depending on the circumstances.

A criminal threat is distinct from extortion because the perpetrator does not want something valuable in return, nearly to instill fear or the perception of danger.

PC 422 is written as such:

(a) Any person who willfully threatens to commit a crime that will result in death or great bodily injury to another person, with the specific intent that the statement, made verbally, in writing, or by means of an electronic communication device, is to be taken as a threat, even if there is no intent of actually carrying it out, which, on its face and under the circumstances in which it is made, is so unequivocal, unconditional, immediate, and specific as to convey to the person threatened, a gravity of purpose and an immediate prospect of execution of the threat, and thereby causes that person reasonably to be in sustained fear for his or her own safety or for his or her immediate family’s safety, shall be punished by imprisonment in the county jail not to exceed one year, or by imprisonment in the state prison.

Robbery vs Extortion

Under California law, the crime of extortion and robbery are two distinct criminal offenses, although they both involve taking someone’s property against their will.

Robbery, as defined in California Penal Code Section 211, is a petty theft or grand theft that occurs when a person unlawfully takes someone else’s property from their immediate presence and against their will, using force or fear. In a robbery, the perpetrator uses physical force, such as violence or the threat of violence, to compel the victim to surrender their property. The force or fear element is crucial in establishing a robbery offense.

However, unlike robbery, extortion does not require the immediate presence of the victim or the use of physical force. This felony offense typically involves the use of threats, coercion, or manipulation to force the victim into giving up their property or performing an act against their will. There is consent from the part of the victim, but one coerced consent.

To differentiate the two offenses further, the act of robbery focuses on the direct taking of someone’s property. In contrast, extortion primarily centers on the intent of compelling someone to give up their property or perform an act through intimidation or coercion.

In summary, while both extortion and robbery involve the intent of unlawful taking of someone’s property, they differ in terms of the means used to obtain the property, the presence of immediate physical force, and the element of fear or threats involved.

Types of Felony Extortion Charges in California

All extortion charges, which are the act of unlawfully obtaining property, money, or services from another person through the use of force, fear, or threats, are felony offenses that can lead to serious prison time.

It involves intentionally instilling fear in the victim or coercing them into complying with the demands of the perpetrator. Extortion can take various forms, including threatening to harm the victim or their loved ones, damaging their property, revealing sensitive information, or falsely accusing them of a crime.

Regardless of the means used, extortion is considered a serious offense under California law and is punishable by imprisonment, fines, and restitution to the victim.

California law makes legal distinctions between two other forms of extortion.

Extortion by Signature

Extortion by signature, as defined by PC 522, refers to the act of obtaining or securing someone’s signature by threat or means of intimidation or coercion with the intention of obtaining money, property, or any other valuable item or advantage.

This offense involves using fear or force to compel another person to sign a document or engage in a transaction against their will, with the aim of unlawfully gaining personal or financial benefits.

Extortion by Threatening Letter

This might be self-explanatory, but extortion by threatening letter, as defined by PC 523, refers to the act of demanding money, property, or any other valuable consideration from another person through the use of written communication that includes threats of harm, injury, or damage to the person, their reputation, or their property.

Attempted extortion

Extortion charges can only be brought forward if the act was completed, meaning if the victim complied and gave in to the extortion demands.

If they didn’t, the perpetrator will be charged with attempted extortion, which is a misdemeanor charge with penalties ranging from 1 year in county jail to fines of up to $1,000 or probation.

Extortion As a Federal Crime

Extortion becomes a federal crime when it involves certain factors that fall under federal jurisdiction. The Hobbs Act is the primary federal law that addresses extortion and makes it a crime when it affects interstate commerce. Under the Hobbs Act, extortion is charged as a federal crime when it involves the use of actual or threatened force, violence, or fear to obtain property from another person or to interfere with their business activities and is made via computer or email, regular mail, phone, or any other instrument of interstate commerce. Since most communication is now done via the Internet, then it’s possible federal authorities can try many extortion cases.

Extortion that targets federal officials or involves federal programs, such as extortion of public officials or government contractors, can also be charged as a federal crime.

Penalties in Felony Extortion Cases

First and foremost, extortion is considered a felony offense in California. This means that upon conviction, the individual will have a felony record, which can have long-lasting consequences on their personal and professional life. Besides severe penalties, felony convictions can result in difficulty finding employment and obtaining housing. They can lead to the loss of certain civil rights, such as the right to vote or possess firearms.

The specific penalties for extortion depend on the circumstances of the case and the amount of harm caused.

The following penalties are typically associated with an extortion conviction in California:

  • Jail term: The length of jail time may vary depending on the severity of the offense. In California, extortion is punishable by imprisonment in county jail or state prison for two, three, or four years.
  • Fines: A person convicted of extortion may be subject to substantial fines. The exact amount of the fine can vary based on several factors, including the value of the property or money obtained through extortion, but is a maximum of $10,000.
  • Restitution: The court may order the convicted individual to pay restitution to the victim. This is to compensate the victim for any financial losses suffered as a result of the extortion.
  • Probation: In some cases, the court may impose probation instead of or in addition to incarceration. During probation, the individual is required to comply with certain conditions, such as regular check-ins with a probation officer, attending counseling or therapy, and refraining from criminal activity.

It is important to note that California has enhanced penalties for certain types of extortion, such as extortion involving a threat of violence, extortion against public officials, or extortion committed against a vulnerable individual or group. These circumstances can result in longer prison sentences and higher fines.

Consulting with an experienced legal expert like a bail bondsman or criminal defense lawyer is crucial for a strong defense and understanding the potential penalties, one may face for charges of extortion in California and for preventing a simple case from worsening.

You Need An Experienced Bail Bond Agent That Specializes In Felony Extortion Defense

The bail bond process for a felony extortion charge is serious and without expert help at your side, as the standard bail for extortion is $50,000 to $100,000. Nonetheless, a bail bond company and a criminal defense attorney can aid you during this difficult time and help you and your loved one obtain that money.

Legal Defense Against Felony Extortion

In cases of felony extortion in California, a criminal defense attorney may employ various legal defenses to protect their client’s rights and fight at the extortion sentencing.

One common defense strategy is to argue lack of intent, meaning that the defendant did not have the intention to commit extortion. The defense attorney may present evidence showing that their client’s actions were misinterpreted or misunderstood and that there was no malicious intent to obtain property or anything of value through coercion or threats.

Another possible defense is to challenge the credibility of the alleged victim. The defense attorney may argue that the victim’s testimony or evidence is unreliable and that they may have ulterior motives or biases that could influence their statements. By casting doubt on the credibility of the victim, the defense attorney aims to weaken the prosecution’s case and create reasonable doubt in the minds of the jury.

A defense attorney may also explore the possibility of mistaken identity. They could argue that their client was wrongly identified as the perpetrator of the extortion, presenting evidence or alibi witnesses to establish their client’s innocence.

It is important to note that the choice of defense strategy will depend on the specific circumstances of each case. A skilled criminal defense attorney will carefully analyze the evidence, interview witnesses, and work closely with their client to determine the most effective defense strategy to pursue.

Free Consultation & Case Review

Do you know someone who has been arrested for felony extortion? Look no further because we are here to help. At Angel Bail Bonds, we work with experienced bail bondsmen and criminal defense attorneys to be your best option, even in cases where you need bail for theft, bail for embezzlement, or bail for extortion. We offer flexible payment plans and affordable rates to make the process more manageable for you and your loved ones.

If you have any questions about how bail laws and the bail bond process work or if you need assistance helping a loved one in Los Angeles, Orange County, or anywhere else in California, don’t hesitate to call us at our bail hotline or contact us at our website, today.

Related Posts
To Top