From the bustling streets of New York City to the remote corners of this world, blackmail can take place in almost any area. Unfortunately, it doesn’t take much for someone to blackmail another individual. All it takes is one confidential detail or sensitive content that someone would do anything to keep from being publicized. So, is blackmail a crime in New York? Read on to find out the answer and more.
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Is Blackmail a Crime in New York?
In short, yes, blackmail is considered a very serious crime in the state of New York under the Penal Law section 155.5(2)(e). The law defines and prohibits grand larceny by extortion. A person who intimidates threatens, or coerces another individual to give them property (typically money, but not always) can be charged with online blackmail.
Blackmail Laws & Punishment in New York
Per Saland Law, a firm based in New York, the penalty for blackmail depends on the value of the property given to the extorter and whether or not violence was involved to carry out the exchange. The firm gives an example, “Grand larceny in the Second Degree may be charged when the value of the property is more than $50,000. The penalty for “Second Degree Blackmail” is up to fifteen years in prison. The dollar value of property used to determine the penalty and punishment for a Blackmail crime in New York is based on whether the property is actually transferred to the extorter and whether it eceeds, $1,000.00, $3,000.00, $50,000.00, or $1,000,000.000. Similarly, it is also a class “C” felony with a possible fifteen-year sentence if Blackmail occurs with threats to cause a physical injury to another person or damage property regardless of the value of the transferred goods.”
Under New York law the penalty for extortion is classified as a class E felony. Even if the property is not of a high value, blackmail can land someone in prison for up to four years for low-level extortion. If threats of violence are involved the class of the type of felony can rise anywhere from a class E felony to a class B. The sentencing for these crimes can be from fifteen years up to twenty-five years in prison.
What To Do If You Become a Victim in NYC?
- Document Everything: As soon as you become aware that someone is attempting to blackmail you, it’s important that you document everything related to the incident. This includes collecting evidence such as emails, text messages, phone calls, and any other information that could be used by law enforcement or your attorney for legal purposes.
- Contact Law Enforcement: It’s important that you contact local law enforcement as soon as possible if someone is trying to blackmail you in NYC. They will be able to investigate the situation and take the necessary steps needed to keep you safe from harm or further extortion attempts. Additionally, we recommend contacting cybercrime experts to help with your case.
- Seek Legal Assistance: After reporting the incident to law enforcement, it’s also recommended that victims seek legal advice from an experienced attorney who specializes in cybercrime or criminal defense cases like this one. An attorney will be able to advise victims on their rights under the law as well as provide any other assistance needed during this difficult time in their life.
In summary, it’s essential that victims of blackmail take certain steps in order to protect themselves and their loved ones from further harm or exploitation. If you ever find yourself in such a situation, remember that there is help available; do not hesitate to seek out law enforcement agencies and mental health professionals who have expertise in dealing with these types of cases. We hope we have given you insight into whether or not blackmail is illegal in New York.