Person handing money under the tableExtortion can be an extremely serious crime, whereas the seriousness of a bribery crime depends a lot upon who is making the bribe. If you find yourself in a scenario where you feel you are being extorted or presented with a bribe, or, on the opposite end of the spectrum, you’re in a scenario where you are being charged with the crimes of federal bribery or extortion, the first thing you need to do is contact a white collar defense attorney. Our expert South Florida federal extortion & bribery lawyers will be able to help you navigate the case. 

What are Federal Extortion & Bribery Crimes? 

Extortion can be defined as a singular threat or a series of threats that usually occur when the aggressor is attempting to steal or forcefully coerce the victim to give them money or to commit an act of service.

Extortion can include blackmail, bribery, and even ransoms. 

In legal terms, a criminal extortion offense is defined as using force – or even the threat of force – to obtain money, something of value or services from a person. 

Many jurisdictions classify extortion as a “crime against property” or a theft-related offense, but the threat of harm to a person is an essential element of the offense. This could consist of physical harm, financial harm, destruction of property, or abuse of official power.

Extortion is a federal offense when it interferes with interstate commerce or when a person involved in the extortion crime is a federal official or government agent (including employees of the US, or any US agency or department, or even if someone represents themselves to be a federal agent while committing an extortion crime).

If a federal agent – or someone impersonating a US federal employee attempts an act of extortion, they can face up to 3 years in prison and can be fined. If the amount extorted or demanded was less than $1,000 the person can be fined and face up to 1 year in prison. 

Bribery is similar to extortion in the sense that money is typically involved, but instead of the crime involving a threat, the aggressor usually uses money as a tool to secure some sort of advantage or special privileges from the victim. 

We’ll give an example of a bribery crime made by a public official, as it is the most legally enforced form of bribery. 

Bribery, in legal terms, when it involves public officials, can be defined as directly, indirectly, or corruptly giving offers or promises of anything of value to a public official or making any promise to a public official with the intent to influence the politician. 

Usually, people try to bribe politicians and people in public office with things of value in order to try to influence any official act, to get the public official to commit or collude in allowing fraud in the US, or to do any other action that would violate the lawful duty of the public official. 

Bribing public officials in the United States is not only a federal crime for the person who offers the bribe but also for the person who solicits or accepts the bribe, as a Fort Lauderdale lawyer could explain in more detail. 

A federal bribery crime is listed with “high crimes and misdemeanors,” and in all of US history, bribery has been reason enough to impeach anyone in the office of President, Vice President, and even all civil officers of the United States. 


As stated previously, the federal crime of extortion when committed by a police officer or government official has penalties as follows:

  • Extortion is punishable by fines and prison sentences. 
  • Fines vary on the crime, but can be quite severe. 
  • People found guilty of committing  federal extortion crime can face up to 20 years in prison. 

Additionally, the federal crime of bribery of a public official has punishments in line with the following:

  • Fines: If you bribe a public official or are a public official who solicits or accepts a bribe, you could face a fine of up to three times as much as the value of the bribe. 
  • Prison time: Prison time for federal bribery crimes can be up to 15 years in prison. 


If you or someone you know is being charged or implicated in a federal extortion or bribery crime in South Florida, one of the first things you need to do is touch base with one of our award-winning South Florida federal criminal defense attorneys.    

It’s very important that you do not talk to or cooperate with police, or local or federal law enforcement before consulting an attorney if you’re facing federal criminal charges. Police can act like they can help you, but helping you is not their main prerogative – it likely isn’t their prerogative at all . You need to talk to a federal attorney the moment you find out you’re under investigation, or are even a witness, for a federal crime. 

We will be able to help you navigate the federal case, the charges, court appearances and we’ll fight to protect your future. 

We will fight in order to get you the most favorable outcome possible on your federal extortion or bribery case and work alongside you to discuss all of the possibilities of your case. 

Federal Extortion & Bribery Defense Strategies 

  • Insufficient evidence: It is possible to prove that there is insufficient evidence for the defendant to be charged with either bribery or extortion crimes, which can include asserting that the crime did not occur in the first place. 
  • Proving intoxication or incapacitation:  It is possible to prove that the defendant was incapacitated or intoxicated at the time of the crime, meaning that they were not of sound mind to conjure a threat against the accusor or make an appropriate bribe. 

Free Federal Extortion & Bribery Defense Strategy Session in Fort Lauderdale 

We handle Federal Extortion & Bribery cases of all types. We know how to protect your rights and provide you with a personalized and aggressive defense to your criminal charges. Whether you are facing the federal crimes of extortion or bribery, we can help you understand your case and help you resolve it in a quick and effective manner. 

Federal Extortion & Bribery cases can be extremely serious crimes if not treated as such in the court of law, but our federal criminal defense team will be able to dissect your case and treat it with the utmost importance. 

We offer FREE strategy sessions so you know how we’ll work to get the best possible result on your case for you. Contact a South Florida federal extortion & bribery lawyer to get started.


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