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Is there a difference between Extortion and Blackmail?


You’ll discover that the crime of extortion resembles blackmail considerably. Threats are used in both cases to obtain the transfer of property with the victim’s compelled agreement.

Blackmail, however, is considered two steps removed from robbery if extortion is one step (because it does not require taking by force). When someone uses threats to get a victim to transfer property, they are committing the crime of blackmail.

Threats against the victim’s reputation, prospects for employment, or social status are possible. But the victim’s body, their loved ones, or their property are never threatened with violence or bodily harm.

Due to this, the main distinction between extortion and blackmail is that the former uses threats of violence, while the latter does not.

Additionally, blackmail is punished far less severely than extortion. Blackmail is punishable by up to five years in jail, a $1,000 fine, or both, according to Washington law.



Extortion in Washington is illegal in both degrees. According to the law, felonies are highly serious offenses that carry very harsh penalties.

Second-degree extortion is classified as a Class C felony and carries a maximum 5-year prison sentence. Adult offenders may be subject to a fine of up to $10,000 instead of or in addition to incarceration.

Extortion is a Class B felony in the first degree and carries a maximum 10-year prison sentence. In addition to or lieu of jail time, it may result in a fine of up to $20,000.



Even though being accused of extortion is a highly severe offense, a knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer can assist you in defending against the allegation. The Cowlitz Law Group lawyers can assist you in getting the case dropped or reduced by utilizing his vast expertise as a former criminal prosecutor. Call The Cowlitz Law Group at (360) 355-4465 or (360) 597-7585 ext. 1 or contact us here.

By: Cowlitz Group

By: Cowlitz Group

The Cowlitz Law Group PLLC was founded on the belief that a successful practice is built upon providing its clients with personal service, measurable results that meet or exceed expectations, and a high level of professional integrity. We provide high-quality, cost-effective legal services to both individual and corporate clients. We look forward to meeting you and serving your legal needs.

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