Every person’s nightmare – receiving an email or message claiming someone has captured explicit images or videos of themselves or private information and is threatening to release it if you don’t comply with their demands. With the rise of accessible technology, blackmail is becoming more common. Many victims feel like they do not have a choice but to surrender to the demands of the perpetrator, but there are laws in place that can protect you from blackmail and other types of online exploitation. Throughout this post, you will learn what blackmail is, what protection you have under Kentucky law, whether is Blackmail Illegal in Kentucky and how to get help if you have been victimized.
Is Blackmail Illegal in Kentucky?
When it comes to the legality of blackmail in Kentucky, there is no easy answer. The state’s criminal code does not specifically mention blackmail, so it is up to individual judges to decide whether a specific case constitutes blackmail or not. This can lead to inconsistencies in how the law is applied, so it’s important to understand what blackmail is and what the potential penalties are if you’re convicted.
What are the Blackmail Laws in Kentucky?
Blackmail is defined as the act of obtaining something of value from another person through the use of coercion or extortion. This can include threats of physical violence, public humiliation, or releasing sensitive information. In Kentucky, blackmail is a Class D felony, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine. However, many cases are resolved through plea bargaining with prosecutors, so the actual sentence may be shorter than this.
Under the Crime of Extortion is where you will find blackmail. Extortion is the threat or use of force to obtain money or any other benefit. Both Kentucky and the United States federal government have laws that criminalize this behavior, including:
Blackmail – 18 USC & 873
18 US Code & 873 explains that it is unlawful for a person to demand or receive money or any other benefit in exchange for informing or failing to notify the authorities about a violation of US law. If you violate this statute in the state of Kentucky you are guilty of blackmail. The US government takes blackmail very seriously. People who commit this criminal offense can go to federal prison.
How to Protect Yourself from Blackmail in Kentucky?
Blackmail can happen to anyone. It means you have to be proactive. Follow these tips to protect yourself from Blackmail.
- Safeguard your computer. A lot of blackmail occurs as cyber blackmail, keeping your computer up to date on anti-virus programs is a necessity.
- Keep current on scams. A criminal can reach out claiming they have personal info on you essentially bluffing is one example of a blackmail scam.
- Keep social media private. Leaving your information out there on the internet vulnerable for anyone to have access to it is dangerous. Keeping things listed as private helps ensure safety.
- Do not share explicit information with anyone you do not know or trust.
If you believe you are a victim of Blackmail in Kentucky, there are protections available to you under the law. You can also get help from organizations that specialize in helping victims of sexual assault and cybercrime. Blackmail is a deplorable crime that can leave victims feeling violated and helpless.
Private Digital Investigation is one of the leading companies that deal with these Cyber Criminals. With locations across North America, our digital forensics experts are near and ready to help & stop blakmail online. We can work on your case remotely, in-lab and onsite. Contact us or submit a case today to learn more about how we can help you to stop being the Victim.