Michigan Extortion Laws

While extortion is usually seen as a form of theft/larceny, it specifically involves obtaining property or money by threatening the victim or the victim's loved ones. Extortion can also be distinguished from robbery because the threat doesn't involve an imminent physical danger to the victim. Even though each state has its own definition of extortion, it usually involves a threat of property damage, harm to reputation, violence, or unfavorable government action. Michigan has more than one statute addressing conduct that it considers extortion. While the classic definition of extortion is classified as a felony, other conduct that's within the extortion chapter of the Michigan Penal Code is actually a misdemeanor.

Michigan Extortion Laws Overview

Below you'll find key provisions of extortion laws in Michigan.

Statute(s)

Michigan Penal Code, Chapter XXXIV (Extortion)

What's Prohibited?

Malicious threats to extort money (Section 750.213): With intent to a) compel someone to do or refrain from doing something against the person's will, or b) extort money, maliciously threaten to:

  • Accuse another person of a crime;
  • Injure the person or his or her property; or
  • Injure the person's mother, father, husband, wife or child.

Coercion to have an abortion (Section 750.213a): Having knowledge that a female is pregnant and with the intent to force her to have an abortion against her will:

  1. Threaten to commit, attempt to commit, or actually commit a violation of Sections 750.411h or 750.411i, or an assaultive crime against the pregnant female or anyone else.
  2. Engage in coercion after being informed by a pregnant female that she doesn't want to get an abortion.
Charges and Penalties

Malicious threats to extort money is a felony punishable by a prison term of not more than 20 years or a fine not exceeding $10,000.

Coercion to have an abortion is punishable as follows:

  • Violation of #1 above will be charged and punished in the same manner as the underlying offense that was threatened, attempted, or committed.
  • Violation of #2 above is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine not exceeding $5,000.*

*If the offender is the father (or putative father) of the unborn child, the pregnant female is less than 18 years old, and the offender is 18 or older, the violation is punishable by a fine not exceeding $10,000.

Related Statute(s)

Michigan Penal Code Section 750.214 (Extortion by public officers)

Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

Michigan Extortion Laws: Related Resources

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Arrested for Extortion in Michigan? Contact an Attorney

Extortion is a serious crime under Michigan's laws, and conviction can result in imprisonment and/or fines. If you've been arrested for or charged with extortion in Michigan, it's a good idea to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney to receive personalized legal advice based on your specific situation.

Next Steps: Search for a Local Attorney

Contact a qualified attorney.