Extortion, or theft by extortion, is more commonly known as blackmail. In Arizona, a person commits theft by extortion by obtaining someone else's property or services by threatening to do any of the following:
- Cause physical injury to anyone by means of a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument or cause death or serious physical injury to anyone, or by any other means.
- Cause damage to property.
- Engage in other conduct constituting an offense.
- Accuse anyone of a crime or bring criminal charges against anyone.
- Expose a secret or an asserted fact, whether true or false, tending to subject anyone to hatred, contempt or ridicule or to impair the person's credit or business.
- Take or withhold action as a public servant or cause a public servant to take or withhold action.
- Cause anyone to part with any property.
- Take or withhold action regarding an alleged claim of easement or other right of access to an adjoining property if two conditions occur.
Read on to learn more about Arizona theft by extortion laws, including the elements of the crime and potential penalties.
Arizona Theft by Extortion Laws at a Glance
The penalties for a conviction of theft by extortion in Arizona are covered in the table below.
Crime / Sentence
If someone obtains someone else's property or services by threatening to: cause physical injury to anyone by means of a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument or cause death or serious physical injury to anyone, or by any other meens.
- Class 2 felony
- Punishable by a minimum sentence of 4 years, a maximum sentence of 7 years
If someone obtains someone else's property or services by threatening to do anything else:
- Class 4 felony
- Punishable by a minimum sentence of 1 year, a maximum sentence of 3.75 years
Arizona Revised Statutes § 13-1804
Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.
Potential Defenses to an Extortion Charge
A potential defense to theft by extortion is if the property obtained by threat of accusation, exposure, lawsuit or other invocation of official action was lawfully claimed either as:
- Restitution or indemnification for harm done under circumstances to which the accusation, exposure, lawsuit or other official action relates.
- Compensation for property that was lawfully obtained or for lawful services.
Research The Law:
Get Legal Help Understanding Arizona Theft by Extortion Laws
Theft by extortion carries serious criminal penalties. However, there are various defenses that apply to the crime. If you want to learn more about the penalties or defenses associated with theft by extortion in Arizona, you should contact a skilled criminal defense attorney in your area.