Facing a criminal charge for extortion, or being accused of being in violation of the Hobbes Act, are very serious charges. Each of these charges can carry severe penalties, including a prison sentence. Violations of the Hobbes Act can mean serving time in a federal penitentiary. In some cases, a person can even be charged with both of these cries at the same time.
Anyone that has found themselves facing one or both of these charges will need to find a qualified criminal defense attorney. Your defense attorney, if facing Hobbes Act charges, will also need to be experienced and licensed to practice Federal Law. It is important that you secure the legal services of a law firm that understands the seriousness of these charges and has the ability to aggressively represent your case.
Extortion is defined as when a person obtains something of value through the use of threats or force. Extortion is often referred to as “blackmail.” Under the eyes of the law, the threat does not have to be physical violence to be considered extortion. The threat must “induce harm” if completed, and may include anything that would cause emotional, physical, financial, or even reputation harm. Extortion must include the gaining of something of value and not just a threat.
The Hobbes Act was enacted in1951 and relates to extortion or robbery concerning interstate commerce. This Act was initially designed to fight corruption within the labor unions that were disrupting products from flowing from state to state. However, the Hobbes Act has been used to prosecute any form of extortion or robbery that interrupts the flow of commerce, regardless of its source. Additionally, the Hobbes Act also covers the act of accepting money for goods or services that they are not entitled to receive by any public official. Punishment under the Hobbes Act dictates that anyone convicted of this crime must pay a large fine, serve up to 20 years in prison, or both.
If You Have Been Charged With One Or Both Of These Crimes
If you have been charged with extortion or a violation of the Hobbes Act, the first thing that you must remember is that it is a charge, not a conviction. Yu are innocent until proven guilty in a Court of Law. With this in mind, you must seek professional legal counsel so that your rights as the accused are protected and so you can build a defense.
There are many gray areas within the laws of extortion. What may seem like a simple statement of facts may be seen as a “threat” to another person, creating the illusion of extortion. There may also be several other issues at hand that clearly show that the act was not extortion or a violation of Hobbes. However, only an experienced attorney will be able to correctly state the facts based on the evidence, and in accordance with the law, for a proper defense.
It is also important to remember that your defense attorney cannot promise that you will not be convicted. Ultimately, the decision to convict or not is in the hands of the jury. However, your defense attorney can promise to work aggressively to present your case, prove your innocence, or even ask for lesser charges if it is beneficial to your case.
Overall, your best defense for these charges will be to have an attorney who understands the fundamentals of these charges and how the law applies to the circumstances of your case. Working with a defense attorney will ensue that your rights are protected and that you receive a fair trial.