Internet Extortion and Sextortion
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Prosecutor are cracking down on individuals who use the Internet, social media sites and dating apps to extort or blackmail others for explicit photos and sex. This relatively new crime, known as “sextortion,” has led to lengthy prison sentences in south Florida and throughout the state.
Sextortion cases generally involve teens and young adults, but anyone can get swept up in this crime. A typical scenario plays out like this: the alleged offender will obtain a nude photograph or video of an individual on Facebook, match.com, Tinder, Grindr or some other site or app and the accused offender will then threaten to show the photograph or video to others unless the individual agrees to send additional explicit photos, money and in some cases, the alleged offender may even demand sex.Understanding Where Sextortion Comes From
Sextortion originates from the crime of extortion, which involves the use of threats, coercion, or intimidation to obtain money, goods or services. These crimes can be charged as state or federal offenses and involve some type of bribery, blackmail, coercion or demands.Extortion & Sextortion in Florida: Miami-Dade County, Broward County, Palm Beach County
Extortion and/or Sextortion crimes in the state of Florida are classified as a second-degree felony, carrying potential penalties of up to 15 years in prison.
In order to prove the crime of extortion/sextortion occurred, the prosecution must be able to prove several elements, including:
- The accused communicated to another person somehow - verbal, written or typed/printed.
- In that communication, the accused threatened to injure another person, damage their reputation, expose them in a negative light, reveal a secret, or otherwise shame or disgrace them.
- The threat by the accused was of malicious intent to extort money, good or services from another person or compel another person to engage in a certain act against their will. Malicious intent means ill will or evil intent.
If you are under investigation for extortion or sextortion, or if you have already been arrested and charged with extortion, it is extremely important to get legal help right away. Do not wait and think these charges will just go away. Police and prosecutors will do everything in their power to achieve the maximum penalties, so you must fight back in order to safeguard your future. There is a lot at stake in these cases, and our South Florida Extortion/Sextortion Defense Lawyers at Whittel & Melton can help. We are very familiar with how these charges can arise from simple misunderstandings. We can investigate the facts of your case and develop a strong defense strategy with the hopes of securing a positive outcome on your behalf. Call us today at 561-367-8777 or contact us online to get the legal help you need.
We cannot stress this enough: do not speak with state or federal law enforcement officers until after you have consulted with a criminal defense attorney. Regardless of your innocence, whatever you tell police can be twisted to be used against you in their aggressive attempt to prove an element(s) of the offense. Your criminal defense lawyer should be the one protecting your side of the story.
Don’t delay. If you are facing Internet extortion charges in Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, Delray Beach, Juno Beach, Jupiter, Lake Worth, Riviera Beach, Palm Beach, Palm Beach Gardens, Royal Palm Beach or West Palm Beach, our South Florida Extortion/Sextortion Criminal Defense Lawyers at Whittel & Melton can provide you with the resources needed to be effective in court. Call us today at 561-367-8777 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.