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Georgia Extortion Laws

The crime of extortion is a form of theft which occurs when a person influences the behavior of another through the use of intimidation or threats; for example, blackmail is a form of extortion. In Georgia, a state filled with its fair share of celebrities, there are no doubt many extortion schemes aimed at such high profile individuals. However, anyone can be a target of extortion; just like anyone can be charged with committing this crime as it'snot just an offense associated with organized crime or gangs. Anyone who violates Georgia's extortion laws is subject to the harsh punishment associated with this crime including possible imprisonment.

Extortion Laws in Georgia

Extortion is a serious theft crime in Georgia and is classified as such. Specifically, the offense is categorized as theft by extortion. It's similar to other theft laws because the extorter is taking property away from the victim (often money) by threatening the victim with violence, damage to their reputation, or other activities named in the statute. Extortion is similar to robbery because threats are used to carry out the crime, but is different because the threats are not considered imminent.

Georgia Extortion Laws at a Glance

The chart below provides a summary of state laws related to Georgia's extortion laws, including links to important code sections.


  • Georgia Code Section 16-8-16 (Theft by extortion)

Elements of the Crime

A person commits the offense of theft by extortion when he or she unlawfully obtains property of or from another person by threatening to:

  • Inflict bodily injury on anyone or commit any other criminal offense
  • Accuse anyone of a criminal offense
  • Distribute any information tending to subject any person to hatred, contempt, or ridicule or to impair his credit or business reputation
  • Take or withhold action as a public official or cause an official to take or withhold action
  • Bring about or withhold a strike, boycott, or other collective unofficial action if the property is not demanded or received for the benefit of the group in whose interests the actor purports to act or
  • Testify or provide information or withhold testimony or information regarding another's legal claim or defense

Penalties and Sentencing

  • Prison sentence ranging from 1- 10 years

Possible Defenses

  • Mistake of fact
  • Incapacity
  • Insanity
  • Intoxication
  • Duress or necessity

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.

Georgia Extortion Laws: Related Resources

Georgia Extortion Law Questions? Find a Local Criminal Defense Attorney

If you've facing charges stemming from Georgia's extortion laws, then you're at risk of losing your good reputation and even your freedom. Whenever incarceration is a possibility, you should especially consider discussing your case with an experienced criminal defense attorney who can evaluate your options. Get started today by finding a local attorney with Findlaw's directory.

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