Extortion

Brad Smith is an experienced Vancouver & Kamloops criminal defence lawyer who defends people charged with extortion.

In Canadian criminal law, the Criminal Code of Canada creates the offence of extortion in Canada. If you are convicted of an extortion offence there is a good chance you will go to jail. For extortion involving the use of a firearm you will receive a minimum mandatory jail sentence, the length of which will depend on the type of firearm used, whether the offence was for the benefit of, at the direction of, or in association with, a criminal organization, and whether you have certain previous convictions. A criminal record for an extortion offence will negatively affect your life in many ways.

Click on the link below to find out more about the offence of extortion in Canada.

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  • Criminal Code, section 346

346. (1) Every one commits extortion, who, without reasonable justification or excuse and with intent to obtain anything, by threats, accusations, menaces, or violence induces or attempts to induce any person, whether or not he is the person threatened, accused or menaced or to whom violence is shown, to do anything or cause anything to be done.

(1.1) Every person who commits extortion is guilty of an indictable offence and liable

(a) if a restricted firearm or prohibited firearm is used in the commission of the offence or if any firearm is used in the commission of the offence and the offence is committed for the benefit of, at the direction of, or in association with, a criminal organization, to imprisonment for life and to a minimum punishment of imprisonment for a term of

(i) in the case of a first offence, five years, and

(ii) in the case of a second or subsequent offence, seven years;

(a.1) in any other case where a firearm is used in the commission of the offence, to imprisonment for life and to a minimum punishment of imprisonment for a term of four years; and

(b) in any other case, to imprisonment for life.

  • Indictable Offence
  • Maximum Sentence
    • life imprisonment
  • Minimum Sentence
    • 4 years, if offence involved use of a firearm
    • 5 years, if first conviction and offence involved use of a restricted or prohibited firearm, or any firearm if offence committed for benefit of, at direction of, or in association with, a criminal organization
    • 7 years, if second or subsequent conviction and offence involved use of a restricted or prohibited firearm, or any firearm if offence committed for benefit of, at direction of, or in association with, a criminal organization
  • Discharge (no criminal record)
    • not available
  • Conditional Sentence (jail in the community)
    • not available

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In the Canadian criminal justice system, the accused has a constitutional right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty. This right is enshrined in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and it means the prosecution has to prove every element of an extortion charge. The accused does not have to prove anything. All of the admissible evidence taken together must satisfy a judge or a jury that the extortion offence charged has been proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

If the prosecution is successful the accused will be found “guilty” and be convicted.

If the prosecution fails to prove the accused committed the extortion offence charged he or she will be found “not guilty” and acquitted of the charge.