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What is the Law on Extortion in Hawaii and What are the Punishments for it?

Extortion is a crime also known as a shakedown, exaction, protection racket, or out-wrestling.

It is the acquiring of monetary compensation, also known as protection money, for property or services, under the threat of coercion from one party to another. It is a felony under most US states and is punishable by fines, incarceration, parole, probation, or restitution payable to the victims of said crime.

All extortion that occurs on interstate commerce via the use of computers, internet, phone, or mail is categorized as federal crimes.

Rare situations call for extortion to come under civil lawsuit for damages under tort law. The proof is necessary under these situations to showcase that the extortion resulted in damages done to a party.

Individuals possessing the position of a public official, using their powers to abuse and benefit from their position come under a classification of extortion known as "extortion under color of official right".

What is the Law on Extortion in Hawaii?

Under Statute 707-764, an individual that obtains or influences control over the property, labor, or services of another individual with the intent to withhold the other of labor, property, or services while engaging in threatening behavior or language to

  • Cause bodily harm in the future to the individual threatened or any other party
  • Cause damage to a computer, its systems, and networks or other property
  • Subject the threatened individual or any other parties to physical restraint or confinement
  • Undertake commission of a penal offense
Hawaii Extortion Law
  • Accuse an individual of an offense or imply penal charges be instituted against another individual
  • Expose and publicize an asserted fact or secret, regardless of the truthful integrity of the said fact
  • or secret in order to render hatred, contempt, or ridicule towards an individual, or otherwise disrupt and impair their personal or business reputation and credit in any manner
  • Reveal information withheld by the threatened individual towards any other party
  • Testify and/or conceal information regarding another legal claim or defense
  • Either engage or withhold action as a public servant, or force or withhold another public servant’s action
  • Create or prolong a collective action such as a boycott or strike in order to obtain property that is demanded a group the defendant purports to represent
  • Destroy, conceal, eliminate, or confiscate governmental identification documents either purported to be real or real or an immigration document of another individual
Hawaii Extortion Law
  • Engage in an act that is calculated to significantly harm another individual even if not resulting in benefit towards the offender with respect to the threatened individual’s personal health, safety, reputation, business, career, financial capacity and means of livelihood, and personal relationships
  • Intentionally inducing another individual to engage in conduct which said an individual has a legal right to not engage in by methods of coercive language or conduct, or
  • Create or finance an extortionate extension of credit or extension of credit by extortionate means, is known as extortion.

What are the Punishments for Extortion in Hawaii

- Extortion found in the first degree is classified as a Class B felony.

- Extortion is punishable under federal and state laws with imprisonment up to 20 years and a fine limited to $25,000 as declared under Section 707-765 of the Hawaii Penal Code.

- Elements such as fear of injury being present in extortion increase the minimum imprisonment duration by 5-14 years.

- Blackmail, bribery, and ransom are generally considering felony crimes and carry their case-specific penalties.

- Fear of death or of grievous hurt increases imprisonment to a period of life imprisonment.

- Finally, when the accusation is in relation to an unnatural offense, harsher penalties are applicable.

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