Every crime in California is defined by a specific code section. Our attorneys explain the law, penalties and best defense strategies for every major crime in California.
Felony » What is “sextortion” under California law?
“Sextortion” is a form of blackmail under Penal Code 518, California’s extortion law. California law defines “extortion” as:
Extortion is commonly referred to as “sextortion” when the consideration demanded involves:
For purposes of California’s “sextortion” law, an intimate body part is defined as:
When committed by someone 18 or over, sextortion is a felony in California. It can be punished by:
As a felony, attempted extortion carries potential penalties of:
As a misdemeanor, possible consequences of attempted extortion include up to one (1) year in county jail.
Note that while California’s law on extortion applies generally to both minors and adults, only adults age 18 and over can be guilty of sextortion.
Penal Code 518 expressly excludes from the definition of extortion consideration consisting of sexual conduct or an intimate images obtained by anyone under 18 years of age.
A former Los Angeles prosecutor, attorney Neil Shouse graduated with honors from UC Berkeley and Harvard Law School (and completed additional graduate studies at MIT). He has been featured on CNN, Good Morning America, Dr Phil, Court TV, The Today Show and Court TV. Mr Shouse has been recognized by the National Trial Lawyers as one of the Top 100 Criminal and Top 100 Civil Attorneys.
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