Attempted Extortion | PC 524

November 5, 2016

In California, attempted extortion is codified under Penal Code 524 making it a crime when someone attempts, by means of any threat, to extort money or property from another.[1]  The crime is a wobbler, allowing the prosecutor to charge someone with either a felony or misdemeanor.

An attempt to commit extortion under PC 524 is established by evidence showing that the defendant:

1) entertained the specific intent commit extortion and;

2) performed direct acts to effectuate that intent but was subsequently frustrated.

The mere intention to commit extortion, however, is insufficient for an attempt unless coupled with a direct act towards accomplishment.  The act itself is typically the legal issue within the case.  In addition, merely devising or arranging of the means or measure necessary to commit the offense is not enough – i.e., mere preparation alone will not suffice.  Furthermore, there is no requirement that the purported victim suffer any fear in their mind so long as the threat is of a character that might reasonably have that result.


PC 524 is punishable as either a felony or misdemeanor.  A felony conviction carries 2, 3, or 4 years in state prison.  However, a misdemeanor carries up to 1 year in the county jail.  Additionally, the court may impose a fine not more than $10,000.


If you’ve been arrested, charged, or are under investigation for attempted extortion under PC 524, then contact a Criminal Defense Attorney at the Law Offices of John D. Rogers for a free confidential consultation concerning your rights and defenses.  Our office handles all criminal cases throughout southern California including, Orange County, Los Angeles, Ventura, San Bernardino, and Riverside counties.




[1] California Penal Code 524 – attempted extortion defined: (“Every person who attempts, by means of any threat, such as is specified in Section 519 of this code, to extort money or other property from another is punishable by imprisonment in the county jail not longer than one year or in the state prison or by fine not exceeding ten thousand dollars ($10,000), or by both such fine and imprisonment.”)

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