When we're desperate for money, sometimes we go to dramatic lengths to get it. Apparently for one man, his desperation for money led to criminal charges. According to a news story, a man sent a letter to a pastor threatening to kill his family if the pastor didn't pay him $15,000. Handwriting analysts were able to match the handwriting in the man's letter to the handwriting of the same man in a police report a year prior. In the letter to the pastor, the man demanded the pastor pay $15,000 to “a person he decided to show grace to”. He then threatened a slow and painful death for the pastor's wife and children if the pastor didn't comply. There was no statement expressing the reason for this man's request for $15,000. In Denver, Aurora and across Colorado, would this man face charges of Criminal Extortion, or Menacing? To decide, let's continue reading about these crimes and how they're charged in Colorado.
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Definition of Criminal Extortion in Arapahoe County
In Arapahoe and Adams County, Criminal Extortion, C.R.S. 18-3-207, is charged in many ways. Criminal Extortion is usually charged if, without legal authority and with the intent to induce another person against that person's will to perform an act or to refrain from performing a lawful act, a person makes a substantial threat to:
Confine or restrain the other person
Cause economic hardship or bodily injury to them
Damage the property or reputation of that person
In connection with the actions listed above, a person must threaten to cause those results by performing or causing an unlawful act to be performed or invoking action by a third party after making a threat. A person can also face charges of Criminal Extortion for trying to get money by threatening to report someone's immigration status to law enforcement. Criminal Extortion is charged as a class 3 felony in Colorado. Though the man in the news story made a threat to cause economic hardship (by demanding $15,000) or bodily injury to the pastor's family, there was no mention that he carried out any actions to hurt or kill the pastor's family members after making the threat. So, it's possible he could face charges of Menacing instead.
What is Menacing in Douglas County?
In Douglas County and Jefferson County, Menacing, C.R.S. 18-3-206, is charged when a person places or attempts to place another person in fear of imminent serious bodily injury by any threat or physical action. To provide context of the type of injury a person could fear after a threat is made, let's look further. Serious bodily injury, 18-1-901(3)(p) is bodily injury that:
“at the time of the actual injury or at a later time, involves a substantial risk of death, a substantial risk of serious permanent disfigurement, a substantial risk of protracted loss or impairment of the function of any part or organ of the body, or breaks, fractures, or burns of the second or third degree.”
For making a threat to kill the pastor's family if the pastor didn't pay him $15,000 (putting them in fear of serious bodily injury) the man making the threat would face charges of Menacing. Menacing can be charged as a class 3 misdemeanor or class 4 felony in Colorado. If he had gone a step further and caused or performed an unlawful act to be performed (like kidnapping or hurting one of the pastor's family members after making a threat to cause bodily injury) he would face charges of Criminal Extortion.
Charged with Criminal Extortion or Menacing in Denver? Contact Us
Having a criminal charge of any kind in Colorado can be crippling. Your life could change upon a conviction of Menacing or Criminal Extortion in Denver, Highlands Ranch, or Littleton. That's why you need an aggressive defense in court. If facing any one of these criminal charges, contact a criminal defense attorney immediately.
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If you have been charged with Criminal Extortion or Menacing in Colorado and are looking for a Christian criminal defense attorney who has the same beliefs as you, we can accommodate you. Be smart, exercise your right to remain silent, and call our experienced criminal defense attorneys today at 303-830-0880 for a free consultation. Together, we can protect your future.Request a Free Consultation
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