My name is Danielle Diaz. One of the things I've learned in life, both inside and outside the courtroom, is that it is important to not see others as your enemy. Even though you may see the prosecutor as your enemy, he or she is just trying to do a job. It may be possible that you can get a prosecutor or the judge to be sympathetic and get him or her on your side. In order to accomplish this, you need to understand the law. I feel that most individuals do not understand the law, which is why I was motivated to create this blog.
Extortion is the act of making threats against another person in an attempt to get money or other compensation from them in return for silence. Those who make extortion attempts threaten to reveal potentially damaging information about the target that could destroy the target's relationships and business connections and even cost them their job and livelihood. Many people are afraid to take action in the face of these threats, for fear that their personal information may come back to haunt them. It can especially be difficult to take action if a family member is threatening to reveal your secrets if you don't comply with their demands. If you are the victim of such threats, you should know that you have options.
Cease and Desist Letter
Depending upon the severity of the threats and the length of time you have been dealing with the threats, your attorney may send a cease and desist letter to the person who is making threats against you. This letter is generally enough to scare most people into leaving you alone and moving on with their lives. Your attorney will craft a professional letter and send it to the other party, generally via Certified Mail, so there is proof that the individual received the letter. The letter will outline the penalties for harassment and extortion and then communicate to the recipient what the consequences will be if the unwanted behavior does not stop.
If a cease and desist letter is unsuccessful, or your case has gone beyond the point where this type of letter would be beneficial, your attorney will likely advise you to sue the person that is making the extortion attempts against you. Many victims are scared to go this route. However, a civil lawsuit can be a very effective way to stop harassment and get your harasser to go away and leave you alone. In addition, you may be able to recover monetary damages from the court for your pain and suffering. This is not an effective option if the person harassing you has no money; in some cases, a civil suit can work against you by spreading your business into the public eye and getting you no monetary resolution.
Extortion is a crime; your attorney can help you contact the appropriate law enforcement agencies to have the person harassing you arrested and prosecuted. You should ensure that you keep all evidence of any extortion attempts, such as voicemails, emails and letters. If you record calls from your harasser, make sure you do this within the confines of the laws of your state.
If you believe that you are a victim of an extortion attempt by a family member, you don't have to live in fear. Contact your attorney today to discuss your case. Your attorney will weigh the details of the threats being levied against you and direct you as to the best way to proceed to get the threats and harassment to stop. If you don't already have an attorney in mind, contact your local bar association or the American Bar Association for a referral to a competent attorney that can help you handle your civil and family law issues.
For more information, contact Baudler, Maus, Forman, Kritzer & Wagner, LLP or a similar firm.