Both the Nevada crimes of extortion and bribery are felonies, although extortion is considered a more serious offense and therefore carries potentially harsher penalties. This is because extortionists threaten their victims with harm if they do not comply, whereas bribers do not threaten harm to the persons they are bribing.
The Nevada crime of bribery occurs when someone offers someone else money (or something valuable) in return for doing a particular thing. An example of bribery is offering a judge $10,000 to rule a certain way on a case. Even if the judge refuses the bribe, the person making the offer can still be convicted of bribery merely for putting the offer out there.
In contrast, the Nevada crime of extortion is like bribery plus threats. Also called blackmail, extortion occurs when someone threatens someone else with harm unless that person gives the extortionist money (or something valuable). An example of extortion is a computer hacker stealing nude pictures of a celebrity off her cell phone, and then threatening to post them online unless she pays him $10,000.
Extortion is considered a more serious crime than bribery in Nevada because the victims of extortion face potential harm, such as loss of money or public humiliation. Whereas with a straight bribe, the person on the receiving end faces no adverse consequences by refusing the bribe. Read more information on the Nevada crime of extortion. Also refer to our articles, "Is libel a crime in Nevada?" and "Where does blackmail come from?"