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Minnesota Extortion Laws

Extortion occurs when a person threatens someone else in order to obtain property or money. The threats can be to hurt a person, damage property, or to cause harm to a person's reputation. Although extortion is called coercion in Minnesota, it still outlaws the same type of behavior that's usually classified as extortion in other jurisdictions. And, similar to most jurisdictions, coercion is treated as a serious crime.

Overview of Minnesota Extortion Laws

Laws are usually written in "legalese," which is why it can be helpful to have someone break them down for you in plain English. In the chart that follows you can find FindLaw's overview of extortion laws in Minnesota as well as links to applicable statutes.


Minnesota Statutes, Chapter 609 Section 609.27 (Coercion)

Defining the Offense

Coercion occurs when a person causes someone else to act against their will or to refrain from doing a lawful act by threatening, orally or in writing, to:

  • inflict physical harm upon or confine, someone (when it's not a robbery or attempted robbery);
  • inflict damage to the someone's property;
  • injure a business, trade, or profession;
  • expose a deformity or secret, publish a defamatory statement, or otherwise expose a person to ridicule or disgrace;
  • make or cause to be made a true or false criminal charge*; or
  • commit a violation under Section 617.261 (Nonconsensual Dissemination of Private Sexual Images).

*This doesn't apply to a warning of the consequences of a future violation of law given in good faith by a peace officer or prosecuting attorney.


The penalties for coercion depend on the monetary gain received by the violator or the loss suffered by the person threatened or another person because of the threat:

  • If the gain or loss is less $300 or less, or isn't susceptible to economic measurement: imprisonment for up to 90 days and/or a fine of up to $1,000.
  • If the monetary gain or loss is more than $300 or less than $2,500: imprisonment for up to 5 years and/or a fine of up to $10,000.
  • If the monetary gain or loss is $2,500 or more: imprisonment for up to 10 years and/or a fine of up to $20,000.
Related Statute(s)

Minnesota Statutes, Chapter 609:

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.

Minnesota Extortion Laws: Related Resources

For additional information and resources related to this topic, please visit the links listed below.

Charged with Committing Extortion in Minnesota? Get Legal Help

Being convicted of extortion can result in imprisonment and/or fines and a criminal record. If you're facing criminal charges, such as coercion in Minnesota, it's in your best interest to speak with a local criminal defense attorney who can provide legal advice on how to proceed based on the specific circumstances of your case.

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