Conspiracy to commit extortion is an offence that can come with a stiff punishment. This article provides detailed guidance on the typical sentencing for this offence.

What is the sentence for Conspiracy to commit extortion in 2020?

The offence of conspiracy to commit extortion is based on the act of agreeing with two or more people to benefit from coercion. This is a crime that comes in many flavours which may include blackmail, ‘protection rackets’ and the threat of harm. There are examples of this crime below; however, it’s important to note that conspiracy crimes are focused on people agreeing to commit a crime, rather than acting on the crime itself.

When the prosecution team bring a conspiracy to commit extortion crime to Court, it’s their role to prove that the accused are guilty of the offence. The prosecution needs to prove that there is an agreement to act together  – in an expressed, implied or assumed manner. There must be either direct or circumstantial evidence to prove that there was an agreement to commit extortion.

The crime of conspiracy to commit extortion is taken seriously by the courts. If the Judge and jury find you guilty and convict you, you’re most likely going to receive a substantial prison sentence and potentially be required to pay a fine.

To provide you with further information about sentencing for the conspiracy to commit extortion offence, we’ve put some of the questions together that our clients typically ask. You’ll also find the answers. If you cannot find the information that you need here, then call us on 0208 888 5225 for a chat about your situation.

It’s important to know that a decent quality solicitor may be able to get any prison sentence reduced and potentially avoid it entirely.

What type of actions are involved in a conspiracy to commit extortion?

A conspiracy to commit extortion is when two or more people agree to a course of action that will result in gaining benefit through coercion. The word ‘coercion’ can be defined by manipulation of a person for them to behave involuntarily through trickery, threats, intimidation, or other force. The danger will always be designed to create a lot of fear in the threatened person. The alarm may be about violence, social stigma, deportation, economic loss or any other event that may frighten the individual.

Here are examples of what acts may be involved in a conspiracy to commit extortion offence:

A shopkeeper is told that he must pay ‘protection’ money – this is a common practice and a crime for which the gangsters of the 1960s and the Mafia are well known.  If the ‘protection money’ is not paid, then the shop keeper could be robbed, or even be physically attacked as a lesson to pay in the future.

A celebrity is threatened with the release of images of a compromising nature – an extortionist would threaten to leak images or reveal other information that would be damaging to the reputation of the celebrity unless they are paid money, property or given access to a service.

Many other acts fall under this offence, too numerous to mention here. Call us if you have any questions or would like to discuss your case on 0208 888 5225.

Have you been charged or arrested for conspiracy to commit extortion? 

Being charged or arrested for conspiracy to commit extortion can cause a lot of concern for those involved. There will be fear about the outcome of any potential trial. The verdict could mean spending time in prison, which will entail separation from loved ones and an inability to make the income on which dependents rely.

What is the average sentence for conspiracy to commit extortion?  

Considered as a grave offence, the average sentence for conspiracy to commit extortion is ten years in prison. However, the punishment will depend on the circumstances of the situation and whether there are mitigating factors that can sway the Judge to be more lenient.

What are some of the mitigating factors that might reduce the conspiracy to commit extortion sentence?

Certain aspects of a case are known as the mitigating aspects which can influence the sentence that a judge gives. One of the factors judges consider in every case of this nature is the defendant’s level of genuine remorse.

The following are some of the other factors considered when the Court decides which sentence to give. They will look at:

  • Any previous conviction
  • Your level of remorse
  • Your level of cooperation with the investigation
  • Whether the activity you took part in was initially legitimate
  • Your reputation / good character
  • Whether you have any severe medical conditions that require long term, urgent or intensive treatment
  • Whether you have a learning disability or a mental disorder
  • Whether you are the sole or primary carer for related dependents

Is it possible to reduce a sentence for conspiracy to commit extortion with a guilty plea?

In recent years, several changes have been made to the sentencing system in the UK to save the court time and cost and to protect witnesses from the stress of needlessly going through a trial. For offenders aged 18 and over, pleading guilty early on in a case can reduce a sentence by as much as one third (maximum). The later the plea is entered, the smaller the reduction.

‘Early on’ refers to ‘the first stage of the proceedings’ and means anytime up to and including the first hearing at the Magistrates Court or Crown Court for indictable offences.

If a plea is entered 14 days after the first hearing, for example, the maximum level of reduction is just 20% or one-fifth of the sentence. For indictable offences, the limit for a guilty plea to be made is within 28 days after the prosecutor has stated compliance with section 3 of CPIA 1996 and serving disclosure. However, the decision is ultimately in the hands of the Judge, who has the discretion to apply whatever credit is deemed appropriate.

After these times, there is a sliding scale of credit applied. This goes down to one-tenth on the first day of the trial and to zero if entered during the course of the trial. In theory, the ten per cent could be given if the plea is issued after the opening speeches on the first day, but prior to any witness evidence being heard.

If the accused does not want to plead guilty, then it’s essential for the solicitor to regularly inform the Court throughout the trial of the reasons why the client’s plea is not guilty.

What are some of the other consequences of the conspiracy to commit extortion offence?

Ancillary Orders

A court can also make ancillary orders on a defendant if they are found guilty and convicted of a conspiracy to commit extortion offence. These are extra elements of punishment that can be added to a sentence and include additional restrictions or requirements that can affect a dependent’s finances, your property or business or financial activity.

Ancillary orders that are typically added to the penalty for those who are found to be guilty of conspiracy to commit extortion include:

  • Compensation for loss
  • Restraint orders
  • Reparation orders
  • Being on licence
  • Confiscation orders

As part of your investigation, you may also have your assets frozen with the possibility of having cash or other assets seized.

Also, the Court may demand payment of the following if the accused is convicted:

Payment of costs applied for by the prosecutors

Although the police meet some of the costs involved in the prosecution, the costs of investigation are typically sought from the convicted. These may include the costs of:

  • The work done in obtaining enough evidence for prosecution either at the initial stage or later at the request of Crown Prosecution Service (CPS)
  • Seeking medical or expert evidence as part of the investigation, (where a witness is required to attend Court, the cost of the attendance falls on the CPS).
  • Re-interviewing witnesses
  • The entire costs of the prosecutor, including fees for the use of external Barristers used by the CPS, can be recovered from the defendant, subject to means. At the end of the case, the prosecutor under The Prosecution of Offences Act 1985 will request the Judge to order a sum to be paid for the costs incurred by the prosecutor in bringing the prosecution.

Victims surcharges

The term victims’ surcharges can be explained as paying compensation to a fund for victims and can range between £20 to £170 depending on what sentence you were given at conviction.

How sentences can be added to national information databases

Several national databases hold information about individuals and any allegations made about them, their criminal and court records. These include the DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) which was previously known as the CRB (Criminal Record Bureau) and the Police National Computer (PNC).  Depending on what happened, whether the accused is convicted and what sentence was issued, the accused may be added to one or all these databases. Their purpose is to provide information to potential employers and to regulate the ability to take part in certain activities.

If your case progresses to Court and you are convicted of conspiracy to commit extortion, your conviction will be noted on your CRB / police record. The period of the endorsement will depend on the nature and length of your sentence.

Below are details on how long you will be listed as holding a criminal record if convicted. This is something very serious to consider when it comes to future employment. The term ‘spent’ refers to when your name can be removed from the databases.

Rehabilitation Period
(the time it takes for the sentence to become ‘spent’)
Sentence Adult (aged 18+) at time of conviction Young person (aged under 18) at time of conviction
Prison sentences of more than 4 years Sentence is never spent Sentence is never spent
Prison sentences of more than 2.5 years (30 months) but less than 4 years Sentence length 7 years Sentence length 3.5 years
Prison sentences of more than 6 months but less than 2.5 years (30 months) Sentence length +4 years Sentence length +2 years
Prison sentences of less than 6 months Sentence length + 2 years Sentence length +18 months
Conditional Discharge Length of order Length of order
Absolute Discharge None None
Conditional Caution 3 months 3 months
Simple Caution / Youth Caution None – immediately ‘spent’ None – immediately ‘spent’
Other Including Compensation Order, Supervision Order, Bind Over, Hospital Order Length of the order / once compensation is paid Length of the order / once compensation is paid

How Can Stuart Miller Solicitors Help?

A little care can go a long way. Only Stuart Miller Solicitors puts care up there on the same level as the quality of their legal advice.

Our team may have some of the sharpest legal minds in the country, but our business is fully focused on taking care of our clients. We ensure that you get the support that you need to get you through a challenge as tough and frightening as being accused of a conspiracy to commit extortion offence.

If there’s something that we’ve learned over the three decades that we’ve been in business, it’s that there is a significant risk when you have more than one person accused of any particular crime, as is a conspiracy offence. That other person or persons can make it so much more challenging to defend the accused. They will be working hard to save themselves in the situation. Before you know it, you’ll have all manner of fresh accusations coming from somebody who you may have initially been within a partnership.

That’s not all that can happen with conspiracy trials. We’ve seen it all, and after thirty years of helping people just like you, we know all the possible arguments and how to deal with them effectively.

If there’s one thing you should know, it’s that there’s no substitute for using experts. The team of Stuart Miller Solicitors are here to support you. There’s not only our in-house criminal solicitor team, but we’ve developed relationships with other legal professionals such as some of the best QCs, barristers and forensic analysts in the country.

Our extended team means that any arguments that the prosecution brings to the table get the full attention of the organisation. We don’t take chances when it comes to the liberty of our clients.

Arrest & Interview

The first you will hear about being involved in a conspiracy to commit extortion case is when the police contact you.

The police will invite you to come to the police station for a chat, or they will arrest you. Either way, you’re now in a dangerous position if you don’t have the support of a legal advisor.

The police force train to secure convictions. Their approach is to ask you a set of very probing and intrusive questions that are tailored to get you to incriminate yourself.

Evidence may be withheld from you so that they know more than you know they know.

The benefit of taking a lawyer with you for any meeting with the police force is that the lawyer can demand to see all evidence. This evidence can then be used to craft a strong defence strategy that hits hard on all the points made by the prosecution.

Would you like to discuss your case before instructing us?

Anybody who finds themselves in the uncomfortable position of being accused of the conspiracy to commit extortion crime will be thinking seriously about their future.

Depending on the outcome of your court case, you could lose your liberty and find yourself separated from loved ones for an extended period. We don’t take chances with your freedom and will go all out to battle the prosecution on your behalf.

If you’d like to have a free thirty-minute, no-obligation session with us where you can ask questions, share your concerns and find out what we can do to help you immediately, get in touch. You can either complete our contact form or call us on 0208 888 5225. Our emergency number for any hour of the day or night is 07980 000 076.

Get in touch with us now for conspiracy to commit extortion legal help.

 

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