What is the Law on Extortion in Oregon and What are the Punishments for it?
Oregon Revised Statutes (ORS) lists the offense of Extortion under Criminal Procedure, Crimes, in Volume 04. Chapter 164 -Offenses Against Property – explains what acts amount to an Extortion in its subsection 075. As with other states, Oregon Law to makes Extortion a punishable crime.
Let us examine how ORS treats Extortion and the punishments for the crime.
What Constitutes to Extortion Under ORS?
According to Section 164.075, an individual is guilty of committing the crime of Extortion if the act involves the following components:
- The individual indulges in an act of compelling or inducing another individual to do the following:
o Deliver services or property to the individual accused of extortion or to a third person; or
o Refrain from reporting an act that is unlawful by nature, to a law enforcement agency.
- The individual indulging in the act of compelling or inducing makes the above demands by instilling a fear in the victim that if the above acts of delivering services or property, or the act of refraining from reporting unlawful conduct are not fulfilled, then the individual or a third person will cause the following in the future:
o Physical injury caused unlawfully to some individual;
o Unlawful damage to property;
o Another kind of unlawful conduct that is criminal by nature;
o Make accusation of a crime against some individual or institute proceedings on criminal charges against the individual
o Make a secret known or make public an asserted fact, whether true or untrue, which tends to put some person at the receiving end of contempt, ridicule, or hatred;
The secret or asserted facts can include the immigration status, or the suspected status of immigration of the victim, or another individual known to the victim.
The individual will be guilty of extortion if the individual induces fear in the other individual by threatening that the immigration status will be reported to a law enforcement agency if the acts described above are not fulfilled.
o Indulge in acts that tend to damage some person’s business. Acts can include causing or continuing a strike, boycott, or some other type of collective action.
An act of the above nature will not be considered as Extortion under the ORS when the return – property -demanded or received by the individual making the threat benefits the group for whose welfare the individual claims to be making the demand.
o Testify falsely, or provide untrue information, or refrain from delivering information or testimony for another person’s legal defense or claim;
o Use or misuse official authority of a public servant unlawfully to perform an act that falls within the realm of official duties or is related to official duties; or refuse or fail to perform an official duty; in a way that is bound to affect some individual in an adverse manner; or in a manner that would cause harm to some individual while not benefiting the individual committing the deed (the actor).
ORS also includes Extortion in Section 164.015 that describes the act of Theft. Under this section commission of an act of Extortion as described in Section 164.075 amounts to committing the act of Theft.
Extortion is a Class B Felony under Oregon Law.
Punishment for Extortion Under Oregon Law
As a Class B Felony, Extortion is punishable with a prison sentence not exceeding 10 years. Fines may also be imposed in addition to, or instead of, imprisonment. As a Class B Felony, the crime of Extortion attracts a fine not exceeding $250,000.
Statute of Limitations
An individual considered guilty of Extortion in Oregon must be charged under the law within a period of time as defined by the ORS. In case of failure to institute legal proceedings against the individual under such time, the state loses the right to prosecute the individual for Extortion forever.
In Oregon, the Statute of Limitations for Extortion is within 3 years.