With a population of over 7 million, Washington is the 18th largest state in America. With such a robust number of inhabitants, blackmail has begun to run rampant in Washington. But is online blackmail against the law? Keep reading to find out if Blackmail is illegal in Washington state, what the punishments could be, and how you can protect yourself.
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Is Blackmail Illegal in Washington State?
In Washington State, blackmail is an illegal activity. This refers to blackmail as being when one person knowingly threatens to injure another’s financial or personal property to use fear of that injury to persuade the other person to do or refrain from doing any act against their will. This also covers threats that can be either explicit or implicit and can range from physical harm and various forms of criminal investigations to undesirable publicity and social ridicule. Those found guilty are typically faced with criminal charges such as extortion, fraud, and coercion.
What is Punishment for Blackmail in WA?
Blackmail is considered a Class B felony in Washington state. The punishment for this offense can vary depending on the circumstances, as well as how many charges have been leveled against an individual. If found guilty of blackmail, one could face up to 10 years in prison and/or a substantial fine. Additionally, there could be a restitution fee required to pay back any funds acquired through extortion efforts. Those who are repeat offenders will generally be subject to more severe punishments than those who commit the crime once or twice; this could include longer prison sentences and greater fines.
What Blackmail Laws in Washington State Protect You?
Blackmail is an illegal activity surrounding the use of illicit knowledge or threats to a victim’s security. In Washington State, these laws strictly forbid any individual from making false accusations against another to obtain money, services, or other benefits. They also make it unlawful for someone to communicate compromising information with ill intent or malicious purposes. Citizens in Washington are protected by the state’s blackmail laws from those who attempt to coerce them into engaging in economic or personal gain. Below listed are the statutes:
- Wash. Rev. Code Section 9A:56.110 “Extortion” means knowingly to obtain or attempt to obtain by threat property or services of the owner, and specifically includes sexual favors.
- Wash. Rev. Code Section 9A:56.120 (1) A person is guilty of extortion in the first degree if he or she commits extortion using a threat as defined in *RCW 9A. 04.110(27) (a), (b), or (c). (2) Extortion in the first degree is a class B felony.
- Wash. Rev. Code Section 9A:56.130 (1) A person is guilty of extortion in the second degree if he or she commits extortion using a wrongful threat as defined in RCW 9A.
This can be categorized by:
- First-degree extortion
- Second-degree extortion
- Third-degree extortion
In conclusion, blackmail is a serious criminal offense that is not tolerated in the state of Washington. It’s important to remember that this type of crime is taken seriously by authorities, and the punishment may range from probation and fines to a prison sentence. This type of crime can have an impact not only on the victim but also on innocent bystanders. If you have been a victim of or witnessed blackmail in any form, it’s important to report it to the proper authorities.
If you are experiencing cybercrime-related issues today, don’t be afraid to seek help if you need it! We have many resources available to you! Contact our blackmail helpline 24/7 if you are being blackmailed.