There might be one instance in your life where a person was blackmailing you and it is definitely something that you do not want to happen. For some, they may think that blackmail does not have legal significance. But there are actually laws that can help you protect your rights. Can you someone for blackmail?
Yes, you can sue someone for blackmail, but there are elements that comprise a blackmail. As such, it is essential that you are familiar with the legal aspects so you can protect your rights.
Elements of Blackmail
Before you finally take legal action against a person or a group of people blackmailing you, it is important that you know the elements of blackmail. Contrary to what some would think, a person if proven guilty can be jailed. Suing someone for blackmailing you is not as easy since you also have to prove in court that the person is blackmailing you.
For a person to be held liable, the following elements must be present. First is that the person must make a demand. Second, the blackmail comes with menaces and it is unwarranted. Fourth is that the intention is to harm another person or to cause loss to another person.
Before blackmail is considered to be a blackmail, there is a need for the person to make a demand. A demand is communicated through an email, text message or even through spoken words. Such demands will continue until such a time when the threat is finally withdrawn. If you are harassed and feel threatened, you would not just sit idly by. You have to take the legal action.
Another element of blackmail includes menaces and it could be implied or even expressed. It goes beyond just threat of physical violence as it can be coercive in nature.
Extortion and Blackmail
Blackmail is often associated with extortion. Usually, when you blackmail a person, you want to get something. A person who receives money and makes a demand is considered to be extortion. This aggravates blackmail as it is considered to be an offense. But in order for it to be liable, it has to be done with criminal intent. As a result, the person who is being blackmailed and extorted will act from fear.
There are factors and other things that can aggravate a case. Even the degree of blackmailing would greatly vary. In the United States, you can be fined or even get imprisoned. In fact in other countries like in UK, the sentencing for blackmail if proven guilty can be up to 14 years. There are elements that can aggravate the case and if there is extortion involved then the defendant may have a hard time to win the case.
What to Do if Someone Blackmails You
It is a situation that can possibly happen either with a broken relationship or something else. When this happens, you can definitely do something. But before that, you need to know your rights. There are elements that constitute blackmail. So, you need to ask yourself certain questions. For instance, did you feel threatened and was there a demand? When pressing for legal charges, you need to be able to prove that the person who is blackmailing you is demanding something from you. Failure to show evidence to prove the demands of the defendant can weaken the case and the person can even be acquitted.
Was there a force or a threat? If there is a demand, the next is to prove another element whereby the demand is accompanied by force or threat. The following questions arise:
- What was the threat?
- What were the words uttered by the person?
- Was it made against the victim?
- Did the words come out as a threat?
There are various factors and elements that make a blackmail a criminal offense. With the intricacies of the law, if you feel like you are threatened and being blackmailed, you can sue the person. Not only does it deter the person from doing anything that can threaten or harm you, it is also a wise move to make a legal action so you can protect your rights.