Missouri Extortion Laws

The crime of extortion exists when someone forces another person to do something against their will and in order to obtain, or attempt to obtain, money, property, or some advantage. In Missouri, extortion laws are covered by the statute that defines the offenses of "blackmail" and "coercion." These crimes involve making threats to reveal potentially damaging information or threats to intimidate or place the victims in fear.

Revenge Porn Law in Missouri

On June 1, 2018, Missouri's "revenge porn" law" took effect. This is a related form of blackmail, as this law prohibits threatening to share non-consensual sexually-explicit videos or photos of another person that were obtained during an intimate relationship. This is a class E felony, punishable by incarceration of up to four years.

Summary of Missouri Extortion Laws

Making sense out of the information in a statute can be difficult because of the way that the laws are written. For plain-language answers to your questions, turn to a condensed version of the statute written in everyday language. The chart below provides a basic summary of Missouri's extortion laws.

Statute

Missouri Revised Statutes:

Elements of the Crime

 

 

Blackmail

Any threat to reveal damaging or embarrassing information about a person to that person's spouse, family, associates, or the public at large, including a threat to expose any secret tending to subject any person to hatred, contempt, or ridicule.

Coercion

Coercion involves any of the following:

  • Threats of serious harm to or physical restraint against any person;
  • Any scheme, plan, or pattern intended to cause a person to believe that failure to perform an act would result in serious harm to or physical restraint against any person; or
  • The abuse or threatened abuse of the legal process.

Revenge Porn

To be convicted of revenge porn in Missouri, the following elements must be met:

  • Distributing, or threatening to distribute, private sexual images of another person with the intent to harass, threaten, or coerce that person;
  • Obtaining the image(s) via conditions where a reasonable person would know or understand that the image was to remain private;
  • The perpetrator knows or should know that the person in the image didn't consent to the distribution.

Possible Defenses

  • Mistake of fact
  • Intoxication
  • Insanity
  • Incapacity
  • Duress or necessity

Related Offenses

Missouri Revised Statutes:

  • Section 570.150 (commercial bribery)
  • Section 578.398 (sports bribery in the first degree)
  • Section 578.399 (sports bribery in the second degree)

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.

Missouri Extortion Laws: Related Resources

Discuss Missouri Extortion with an Experienced Attorney

Any violation of Missouri's extortion laws may result in serious penalties including incarceration, costly fines, and restitution to the victim. With so much on the line, you shouldn't take any chances with your case. Get in contact with an experienced Missouri criminal defense attorney who can give you information on your options and the next steps to take.

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