Extortion and Blackmail. The state of California defines extortion and blackmail as a combination of four elements. That 1. the defendant threatened (to unlawfully injure/accuse/expose a secret) the victim. 2. When making the threat or with force, the aggresor intended to force his/her victim to consent to his/her request (this can be money property or an official act). 3. Because of the threat, the victim consented to do the request. and 4. that the victim actually did the request. Its important to know that extortion and blackmail can be charged even if you don’t actually hurt your victim (this extends to non-physical forms such as exposing secrets). It can be charged as long as you intended to do so. The main basis of a threat is that you demanded a sum of money or use very specific threatening words, however it can be a subtle/implied threat by some circumstances. Even if the act you planned to do is perfectly legal you can be charged (like if someone owed you money but doesn’t pay, you call the cops). Injury in extortion and blackmail has a single rule to it. If you are legally able to do something then it is not extortion. Such as if you own the right to say no to someone building property nearby you unless they pay you $2,000. The most important part of this crime is that the victim must actually perform the act or give up money/property. If this does not happen extortion and blackmail did not happen. However attempted extortion could still be charged.
It is charged as a straight felony. You could see up to 4 years in prison. Up to a $10,000 fine. And a formal probation. If the victim is a dependent (such as a senior or someone with a mental/physical problem) then the sentence could be enhanced. If done for a gang then it will be enhanced and will give a strike on your record.
If you were charged with extortion and blackmail talk with an attorney. Its important to know the options you still have.
Mentally Disordered Prisoner. The Mentally Disordered Prisoner or Mentally Disordered Offender (MDO) Law has two purposes. 1. To protect society from prisoners with dangerous, but treatable mental disorders. and 2. to offer treatment for those prisoners. What is a mentally disordered offender though. in order for the Department of Mental Health (DMH) to give treatment while MDO are in prison they have to meet the following criteria. 1. They have to receive a specific sentence for a violent crime, such as kidnapping. 2. the prisoner has to have a severe mental disorder that isn’t in remission or cant be kept in remission without help. Remission means that the signs and symptoms of the disorder can be controlled by medication or social support. 3. The mental disorder was the cause of the crime committed and why he/she is in prison. 4. The inmate received help for his/her mental disorder while in prison for 90 or more days a year before his/her parole or release. 5. a mental health professional certifies the prisoner is a danger to cause harm to other people because of their mental disorder.
Treatment During Parole
If the prisoner meets the criteria he/she will receive treatment as a condition of a parole as decided by the Board of Parole Hearings. Males will go to Atascadero State Hospital and women will go to Patton State Hospital. The DMH may place the patient on outpatient care, but if they do not in 60 days, the patient can petition for it. To contest as a MDO the inmate (now parolee) will be entitled to be examined by 2 health care professionals and to hearing with the Board. If the judge or jury doesn’t believe the patient doesn’t meet the criteria. They will be released without mandatory treatment.
Treatment After Parole
If the DMH still thinks that the parolee’s mental disorder presents danger to society when the parole finishes. The court can order civil commitment. It can last for a year but if the patient doesn’t improve can be renewed in one year increments.
The Lanterman Petris Short Act
If the patient didn’t meet the legal definition of a mentally disordered prisoner. The Board of Parole Hearings may seek civil commitment which allows involuntary treatment for 72 hours to a year.
If you or a loved one is seeking help with mentally disordered prisoners or offenders, talk to an attorney.
Arson Laws PC 451/452. The legal definition of (malicious) arson is willfully and/or maliciously setting a land/property/building on fire. However the second arson law is unlawfully causing a fire, also known as reckless burning/arson. The legal definition is Recklessly setting fire to a land/property/building is a crime. The main difference between the two crimes is the state of mind of the culprit. Malicious arson counts burning something is considered arson, even if its just a small part of it. If you attempted to start a fire on someone’s lawn, but ran out of matches after failing. It is still considered a crime and falls under malicious arson. Overall malicious arson is intending to do something unlawfully, or harming someone or their property with fire. Otherwise if you did not mean to cause harm to anyone then reckless burning is often the go-to. Reckless burning is setting fire to structure/land/property well, recklessly. Reckless means that you were aware of your actions that carries a large risk of causing a fire. You ignored that risk. A normal person would not have committed to the action knowing the risk. This is not the same as an accident. It is the complete disregard of safety. Actions such as throwing a cigarette into a bush is reckless.
Arson punishments can vary. If you did it maliciously. What you burned. If anyone else was injured. And criminal history. They all play a part in the sentence. Any arson offense may make you do a psychological evaluation to aid the judge in deciding jail or prison time. Malicious arson is a felony. Up to 3 years in prison if it was personal property. 6 if it was a structure or forest land. 8 if it was a inhabited property that actually burned. 9 if it caused any injuries. All of those also carry a fine of up to $10,000 and a strike. Reckless arson is a misdemeanor. You could see 6 months in jail and up to a $1,000 fine. However if the property was forestland, or caused injuries it could become a felony. as a misdemeanor it could be up to a year in jail, as a felony up to 6 in prison.
If you were charged for arson, speak to an attorney. Arson is a serious crime that can spiral out of control if its not handled.
Trespassing PC 602. The legal definition of trespassing is the entering or remaining on someone else’s property without their permission. However that’s just the bare legal definition. There are some places that are common and some that are just strange. Some examples of these strange examples include taking stone or dirt off someones property. If they are on the beach/shore taking oysters or shellfish off their land. lastly refusing to go through the screening process at the airport or courthouse is also trespassing. So there is definitely more to this crime then just being on someone’s property without permission. In order to be guilty of trespassing, you had to willfully enter a person’s property. You had the intent to interfere with that person’s land. And that you actually did interfere with that person’s land. This could be through damaging the land itself or its business. Occupying someone’s property is also trespassing. Say if you built a cabin to live in for 3 months on someone’s ranch then it is considered a crime. Its a crime if you occupy their land for a long time.
Trespass can be considered an infraction, misdemeanor, or a felony depending on the circumstances. Most trespass cases are charged as misdemeanors. That includes probation, up to a year in jail, and up to a $1,000 fine. The most common infraction trespassing crime happens when. 1. You enter someone’s property without permission. 2. If the property was surrounded by fences or has a no trespassing sign (has to be 3 per mile). As an infraction it is a $75 dollar first offense, $250 second offense (on the same land). However a Third offense is a misdemeanor. If you threaten to injure someone and go to their land/property within 30 days with intention to carry out the threat, its an aggravated trespassing. It can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony. as a misdemeanor you have a year in jail and a $2,000 fine. As a felony you can see up to 3 years in prison.
If you were charged with trespassing, talk to an attorney. You still have options.