What Is Blackmail?

While blackmail may seem like the same offense as extortion, it is a separate crime in North Carolina. Under N.C.G.S. 14.118, this crime is committed if the defendant does one of the following:

  • Sends a written threat to the victim that makes demands for property, money, or valuable securities
  • Sends a written demand to the victim that threatens to accuse them of committing a crime with the intent to extort or gain property, money, or valuable securities from them

To get a conviction, it must be proven that the defendant knowingly sent the writing to the victim that contained threats and demanded some type of property or securities from them. They must have taken these actions when they had no probable cause or reason to believe that they were entitled to the property they demanded.

Blackmail is a Class 1 misdemeanor. An individual could be sentenced to up to 120 days in jail if convicted.

What Is Bribery?

While similar to extortion, bribery is a separate offense under North Carolina law. It involves exchanging money or something else of value to obtain the victim’s influence or other favorable treatment. The bribe does not have to be accepted for the crime to have been committed. The prosecutor may have difficulty proving that bribery occurred because it often does not involve a paper trail. 

The victim or accused can be private citizens or businesses, or bribery can involve a governmental official. A person can also be charged with this crime for attempting to bribe a juror. 

Like extortion, bribery is a Class F felony under N.C.G.S. 14.218. If convicted, a defendant could face the same sentence as for extortion.

C. Todd Browning
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Charlotte Criminal Defense and DWI Lawyer
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