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Morris County NJ Theft by Extortion Lawyers

Criminal Defense Attorneys with Offices in Morristown, New Jersey

Theft by Extortion Lawyers NJSA - 2C:20-5
Theft by Extortion Lawyers NJSA – 2C:20-5

Theft by extortion, more commonly known as “blackmail,” is a serious crime with severe punishments in New Jersey. The applicable statute is interpreted broadly by NJ prosecutors, who often bring theft by extortion charges in both street crimes and white collar crimes. Without proper legal representation, you or your loved one could be facing serious prison time.

The Tormey Law Firm is an experienced group of criminal defense lawyers who have extensive experience representing clients charged with theft and fraud offenses, including burglary, forgery, and shoplifting throughout New Jersey, including in Dover, Mount Olive, Denville, and Morristown. Our managing partner, Travis J. Tormey, was featured in the Daily Record in Morris County regarding several shoplifting cases he handled and the immigration consequences and penalties involved. One of our other partners, Alissa D. Hascup, is a former Morris County Assistant Prosecutor, former Special Deputy Attorney General, and current Municipal Prosecutor. 

If you or a loved one has been charged with a theft crime in New Jersey, contact the Tormey Law Firm anytime at 866-949-6948 for a free consultation.

Theft by Extortion in New Jersey: N.J.S.A. 2C:20-5

In New Jersey, N.J.S.A. 2C:20-5 governs theft by extortion charges and provides, in pertinent part:

A person is guilty of theft by extortion if he purposely and unlawfully obtains property of another by extortion. A person extorts if he purposely threatens to:

a. Inflict bodily injury on or physically confine or restrain anyone or commit any other criminal offense;

b. Accuse anyone of an offense or cause charges of an offense to be instituted against any person;

c. Expose or publicize any secret or any asserted fact, whether true or false, tending to subject any person to hatred, contempt or ridicule, or to impair his credit or business repute;

d. Take or withhold action as an official, or cause an official to take or withhold action;

e. Bring about or continue a strike, boycott or other collective action, if the property is not demanded or received for the benefit of the group in whose interest the actor purports to act;

f. Testify or provide information or withhold testimony or information with respect to another’s legal claim or defense; or

g. Inflict any other harm which would not substantially benefit the actor but which is calculated to materially harm another person.

NOTE: It is an affirmative defense to prosecution based on paragraphs b, c, d, or f that the property obtained was honestly claimed as restitution or indemnification for harm done in the circumstances or as lawful compensation for property or services.

New Jersey Theft Crime Grading


Amount involved

2nd Degree Theft

five (5) to 10 years in NJ State Prison

  • The amount involved is $75,000 or more;
  • The property is taken by extortion; or
  • The property stolen is a controlled dangerous substance (“CDS”) and the quantity is in excess of one kilogram.

3rd Degree Theft

three (3) to five (5) years in NJ State Prison

  • Between $500 and $75,000;
  • Property stolen is a firearm, motor vehicle, boat, domestic companion animal, vessel, boat, or airplane;
  • The property is stolen from the person of the victim.

4th Degree Theft

18 months in NJ State Prison

Between $200 and $500

Disorderly Persons Theft

six (6) months county jail

Less than $200


Elements of a Theft by Extortion Crime in New Jersey

When seeking a conviction for theft by extortion, the prosecution must prove several elements:

  • The defendant obtained property or money belonging to another person.
  • The property or money was obtained as a result of a threat proscribed by the statute.
  • The threat was made for the purpose of obtaining the property or money in question.
  • The defendant’s demand for property or money was unlawful.

Contact a Randolph NJ Theft by Extortion Defense Attorney Today

There are several advanced defenses available to a person charged with theft by extortion. For instance, it is an affirmative defense that the defendant was exposing a fact or secret for the purpose of restitution or for lawful compensation. Additionally, an experienced criminal defense lawyer can argue that the defendant’s behavior did not rise to the level of “coercion.”

Due to the fact that theft by extortion charges have serious consequences, it is imperative that you do not delay in contacting an experienced criminal defense attorney. Here at the Tormey Law Firm, we care about our clients, and we understand the stress and fear that a person charged with this kind of crime experiences. We will guide you through the complicated NJ criminal justice system and zealously represent you. If you or a loved one has been charged with theft by extortion or another criminal offense in Denville, Dover, Parsippany, Mount Olive, or Morristown, contact the Tormey Law Firm anytime at 866-949-6948 for a free consultation.

The Tormey Law Firm Video Library

If you've been charged with a criminal offense, disorderly persons offense, or traffic / DWI violation, you have the right to an attorney who will defend you against your charges and fight for your best interests. To learn more about how your attorney can fight to have your charges dismissed or reduced, click a link below to see our video library of legal defenses and strategies.

Experience You Can Trust

With unmatched knowledge and experience in the practice of law, the seasoned attorneys at The Tormey Law Firm are committed to serving their clients and tenaciously confronting the allegations against them.

We will examine every facet of your case in order to defend your constitutional rights and reputation.  

With a dedicated legal advocate to assist you, our attorneys will ensure that you are never forced to navigate the complex legal process on your own.

The Tormey Law Firm

Morristown Location

55 Madison Avenue, Suite 400

Morristown, NJ 07960

Areas We Serve

All of Morris County including Boonton, Boonton Township, Butler, Chatham Borough, Chatham Township, Chester Borough, Chester Township, Denville Township, Dover, East Hanover Township, Florham Park, Hanover Township, Harding Township, Jefferson Township, Kinnelon, Lincoln Park, Long Hill Township, Madison, Mendham Borough, Mendham Township, Mine Hill Township, Mont Arlington, Montville, Morris Plains, Morris Township, Morristown, Mount Olive Township, Mountain Lakes, Netcong, Parsippany-Troy Hills Township, Pequannock Township, Randolph, Riverdale, Rockaway Borough, Rockaway Township, Roxbury Township, Victory Gardens, Washington Township, and Wharton.