California Criminal Jury Instructions (CALCRIM) (2017)

1830. Extortion by Threat or Force

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C. EXTORTION
1830.Extortion by Threat or Force (Pen. Code, §§ 518, 519)
The defendant is charged [in Count ] with extortion by (threat/
[or] force) [in violation of Penal Code section 518].
To prove that the defendant is guilty of this crime, the People must
prove that:
<Alternative 1A—threatened to injure or used force>
[1. The defendant (threatened to unlawfully injure/ [or] used force
against) (another person or a third person/ [or] the property of
another person or a third person);]
<Alternative 1B—threatened to accuse of crime>
[1. The defendant threatened to accuse another person[, or that
person’s relative or family member,] of a crime;]
<Alternative 1C—threatened to expose secret>
[1. The defendant threatened to expose a secret about another
person[, or that person’s relative or family member,] [or to
expose or connect (him/her/any of them) with a (disgrace[,]/ [or]
crime[,]/ [or] deformity)];]
2. When (making the threat/ [or] using force), the defendant
intended to use that (fear/ [or] force) to obtain the other person’s
consent (to give the defendant money [or property]/ [or] to do an
official act);
3. As a result of the (threat/ [or] use of force), the other person
consented (to give the defendant money [or property]/ [or] to do
an official act);
AND
4. As a result of the (threat/ [or] use of force), the other person
then (gave the defendant money [or property]/ [or] did an official
act).
The term consent has a special meaning here. Consent for extortion can
be coerced or unwilling, as long as it is given as a result of the wrongful
use of force or fear.
The (threat/use of force) must be the controlling reason that the other
person consented. If the person consented because of some other
controlling reason, the defendant is not guilty of extortion.
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[Threatening to do something that a person has a legal right to do is not
a threat to commit an unlawful injury.]
[The threat may involve harm to be inflicted by the defendant or by
someone else.]
[An official act is an act that a person does in his or her official
capacity, using the authority of his or her public office.]
[A secret is a fact that:
1. Is unknown to the general public or to someone who might be
interested in knowing the fact;
AND
2. Harms the threatened person’s reputation or other interest so
greatly that he or she would be likely to (give the defendant
money[or property]/[or] do an official act) to prevent the fact
from being revealed.]
New January 2006
BENCH NOTES
Instructional Duty
The court has a sua sponte duty to give this instruction defining the elements of
the crime. (See People v. Hesslink (1985) 167 Cal.App.3d 781, 788–790 [213
Cal.Rptr. 465].)
Depending on the evidence, in element 1, give the appropriate alternative A–C
describing the threat. (Pen. Code, § 519.)
Related Instructions
For an instruction on the crime of kidnapping for ransom, reward, or extortion, see
CALCRIM No. 1202, Kidnapping: For Ransom, Reward, or Extortion.
AUTHORITY
• Elements. Pen. Code, §§ 518, 519; People v. Hesslink (1985) 167 Cal.App.3d
781, 789 [213 Cal.Rptr. 465].
• Specific Intent Required. People v. Hesslink (1985) 167 Cal.App.3d 781,
789–790 [213 Cal.Rptr. 465].
• Felony Punishment. Pen. Code, § 520.
• Property Defined. Pen. Code, § 7(10) and (12); see People v. Baker (1978) 88
Cal.App.3d 115, 119 [151 Cal.Rptr. 362] [includes right to file administrative
protest]; People v. Cadman (1881) 57 Cal. 562, 564 [includes right to prosecute
appeal]; People v. Kozlowski (2002) 96 Cal.App.4th 853, 869 [117 Cal.Rptr.2d
504] [includes PIN code].
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• Coerced Consent. People v. Goodman (1958) 159 Cal.App.2d 54, 61 [323 P.2d
536]; People v. Peck (1919) 43 Cal.App. 638, 645 [185 P. 881].
• Force or Fear Must Be Controlling Cause. People v. Goodman (1958) 159
Cal.App.2d 54, 61 [323 P.2d 536].
• Official Act Defined. See People v. Mayfield (1997) 14 Cal.4th 668, 769–773
[60 Cal.Rptr.2d 1, 928 P.2d 485] [kidnapping for extortion]; People v. Norris
(1985) 40 Cal.3d 51, 55–56 [219 Cal.Rptr. 7, 706 P.2d 1141] [same].
• Secret Defined. People v. Lavine (1931) 115 Cal.App. 289, 295 [1 P.2d 496].
• Threat of Harm by Third Person. People v. Hopkins (1951) 105 Cal.App.2d
708, 709–710 [233 P.2d 948].
• Unlawful Injury Defined. People v. Schmitz (1908) 7 Cal.App. 330, 369–370
[94 P. 407].
• Wrongful Defined. People v. Beggs (1918) 178 Cal. 79, 83–84 [172 P. 152].
• Threat to Accuse of Crime Includes Threat to Continue Pursuit of Criminal
Charge. People v. Umana (2006) 138 Cal.App.4th 625, 640–641 [41
Cal.Rptr.3d 573].
Secondary Sources
2 Witkin & Epstein, California Criminal Law (3d ed. 2000) Crimes Against
Property, §§ 103–108.
6 Millman, Sevilla & Tarlow, California Criminal Defense Practice, Ch. 143,
Crimes Against Property, § 143.02 (Matthew Bender).
LESSER INCLUDED OFFENSES
• Attempted Extortion. Pen. Code, § 524; see People v. Sales (2004) 116
Cal.App.4th 741, 748–749 [10 Cal.Rptr.3d 527]; People v. Franquelin (1952)
109 Cal.App.2d 777, 783–784 [241 P.2d 651]; Isaac v. Superior Court (1978)
79 Cal.App.3d 260, 263 [146 Cal.Rptr. 396]; People v. Lavine (1931) 115
Cal.App. 289, 297 [1 P.2d 496].
RELATED ISSUES
No Defense of Good Faith
A good faith belief in the right to property does not negate the specific intent
required for extortion. A debt cannot be collected by extortion. (People v. Beggs
(1918) 178 Cal. 79, 84 [172 P. 152]; see People v. Serrano (1992) 11 Cal.App.4th
1672, 1677–1678 [15 Cal.Rptr.2d 305] [kidnapping for ransom].)
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