In Georgia, being arrested for theft is not limited to accusations of taking something that belongs to another person. There are many aspects of a theft charge and people who are arrested are frequently unaware that they violated a law or that the penalties can be just as severe or worse than for allegations of taking something from a store or from another person. One level of theft that should be understood is theft by extortion.
When there is a charge of theft by extortion, the person will have been accused of: issuing a threat to inflict bodily harm on another person or to commit another kind of criminal offense; accuse another person of committing a criminal offense; give information that will negatively impact a person with hate, contempt, mocking or to damage their business image or credit; withholding action or acting while serving as a public official or lead an official to do so; spark a boycott, a strike or other unofficial and collective act if there is a demand for property or receiving of property for the group is not acceded to; or give testimony or fail to testify regarding information of another person who has made a legal claim or is proffering a defense.
When there is an arrest on theft by extortion, it will be viewed as having happened in the county in which the threat was issued or received, or where the property was acquired via theft. If the crimes are part of an official action that was legitimately claimed as restitution or compensation for damage that had been done, it can be an affirmative defense against the allegations. For those who are convicted of this crime, there can be one to 10 years in jail as a potential sentence.
There are many factors that must be considered when charged with any level of theft. Theft by extortion is no different. The value of the property, the circumstances under which it was taken and if there is a viable explanation for the person having believed they had a right to the property are all essential to crafting a defense against charges of theft.