If you are facing allegations of blackmail, it is essential that you contact an experienced and respected team of criminal defence lawyers. Blackmail carries a potentially serious penalty and so you need a proficient and fearless solicitor to give you the best possible chance of success. You should instruct your lawyer without delay, so they have sufficient opportunity to assess all the evidence and prepare a strong defence case. Contact us today for immediate advice.
Overview of the Law on Blackmail in England and Wales
The offence of blackmail is covered in section 21 of the Theft Act 1968. Under this Act, someone is guilty of blackmail if he or she makes an “unwarranted demand with menaces” (serious threats). The demand must be made with the intent to gain something or cause loss to another person.
A demand accompanied by serious threats is considered unwarranted unless the person making the demand believes he or she has reasonable grounds for doing so, and that threats are a reasonable means of reinforcing these demands. A demand will never be warranted if it is accompanied by threats of criminal activity.
It is also worth noting that the courts have said that neither the demand nor the threat needs to be explicitly stated – it can be implied. The victim also does not need to become aware of the demand for liability to arise, so for example an email containing an unwarranted demand with a threat gives rise to criminal responsibility straightaway, not only after the victim has seen it.
For a person to be guilty of blackmail, the threat they make does not need to involve physical violence but does need to be serious in nature. However, if the person knows that they will have a severe effect on the victim even though the threats might not usually be considered serious, for example if the victim is vulnerable in some way, this can still amount to blackmail.
The maximum sentence for blackmail is imprisonment of up to 14 years.
Expert Blackmail Advice in England and Wales
A blackmail conviction carries with it a potentially life altering penalty, and at Stephen Lickrish & Associates we are aware of the fear and anxiety this can cause – not only for the person charged but also their loved ones. We are known for our excellent client care and are happy to answer any questions you or your loved ones may have.
If you are charged with blackmail, you need a specialist criminal defence solicitor by your side who will fearlessly defend your case, and ensure you have the best chance of achieving a not guilty verdict. Cases involving alleged blackmail need a strong, detailed defence strategy and the careful assessment and cross-examination of the evidence against you.
Contact our Blackmail Defence Lawyers in Manchester, England
If you have been charged or think you may be charged with blackmail, please get in touch. You can do this via the enquiry form on our website or by phoning us during office hours at 0161 237 1913. You can also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. For urgent advice, contact our 24 hour freephone helpline on 0800 988 64 22.