The crime of Extortion in Iowa is defined by Iowa Code section 711.4 as follows:
1. A person commits extortion if the person does any of the following with the purpose of obtaining for oneself or another anything of value, tangible or intangible, including labor or services:
a. Threatens to inflict physical injury on some person, or to commit any public offense.
b. Threatens to accuse another of a public offense.
c. Threatens to expose any person to hatred, contempt, or ridicule.
d. Threatens to harm the credit or business or professional reputation of any person.
e. Threatens to take or withhold action as a public officer or employee, or to cause some public official or employee to take or withhold action.
f. Threatens to testify or provide information or to withhold testimony or information with respect to another’s legal claim or defense.
g. Threatens to wrongfully injure the property of another.
Extortion in Iowa is a class D felony, which means that person who is convicted faces a maximum sentence of 5 years in prison.
Iowa law provides that it is a defense to a charge of extortion that the person making a threat other than a threat to commit a public offense, reasonably believed that the person had a right to make such threats in order to recover property, or to receive compensation for property or services, or to recover a debt to which the person has a good faith claim.
Those facing an extortion charge in Iowa are wise to remain silent and seek an attorney at once, as it is important to handle such a felony case carefully.