The offence of extortion has a broad definition and can cover a wide range of conduct. Section 346(1) of the Criminal Code states,
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.
Generally, extortion occurs when an accused uses threats or violence to induce someone to do something or have something be done. Someone who is charged with extortion may also be charged with a separate offence, such as robbery, sexual assault, voyeurism or uttering threats.
A typical example for when an extortion charge may be laid is during a robbery (hence, why robbery and extortion are found under the same category in the Criminal Code). Nevertheless, extortion does not always involve money. It can also take the form of blackmail between people that know each other. For instance, the accused may be extorting a former partner to continue on with the relationship by threatening to release sexually explicit images of them.
Extortion is an indictable offence and carries serious consequences upon conviction, including mandatory minimum sentences when a firearm is involved. If you have been charged with extortion in B.C., contact us for a consultation.