Businessmen shaking hands in office at night with city viewWhen you think of bribery, you may also think of extortion and, in fact, many people mix up the two. Both are criminal offenses that involve large amounts of money or property in many cases. However, the manner of exchange is very different, which sets them apart. In short, extortion usually does not involve public officials, but bribery involves people employed by the Government.

The Difference in “Who” 

Who the money is given to dictates whether it is extortion or bribery. In cases of extortion, the receiver is the initiator of the transaction. In bribery, the bribee is sometimes the initiator. In extortion, the receiver of the goods is not offering anything to the extorted individual. We will explain the crime to you by giving examples.

Bribery: A government official tells a businessman that in order for the business to get a government contract, a bribery must be made by a third party. It isn’t a threat, as nobody is being threatened with bodily harm if they do not go through with it. However, unless the bribe goes through, goods will be denied.

Extortion: In extortion cases, the businessman would threaten to reveal the government official’s affair unless the government contract is given. Because harm of reputation is being threatened, it is extortion – which is a bit different.

One element remains the same for extortion: It doesn’t matter who commits the crime – it is still a crime. For example, extortion could occur between two businessmen and not government officials, and still be a criminal offense. Bribery, however, always include the element of government officials. If you have been charged with either of these crimes, speak with us today. Call us today at The Law Office of Peter Blair for more information. We are looking forward to hearing how we can help you.