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Related to blackmail: Emotional Blackmail


The crime involving a threat for purposes of compelling a person to do an act against his or her will, or for purposes of taking the person's money or property.

The term blackmail originally denoted a payment made by English persons residing along the border of Scotland to influential Scottish chieftains in exchange for protection from thieves and marauders.

In blackmail the threat might consist of physical injury to the threatened person or to someone loved by that person, or injury to a person's reputation. In some cases the victim is told that an illegal act he or she had previously committed will be exposed if the victim fails to comply with the demand.

Although blackmail is generally synonymous with Extortion, some states distinguish the offenses by requiring that the former be in writing.

Blackmail is punishable by a fine, imprisonment, or both.



West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


n. the crime of threatening to reveal embarrassing, disgraceful or damaging facts (or rumors) about a person to the public, family, spouse or associates unless paid off to not carry out the threat. It is one form of extortion (which may include other threats such as physical harm or damage to property). (See: extortion)

Copyright © 1981-2005 by Gerald N. Hill and Kathleen T. Hill. All Right reserved.


in English law, a person is guilty of blackmail if, with a view to gain for himself or another or with intent to cause loss to another, he makes any unwarranted demand with menaces and for this purpose menaces are unwarranted unless the person making it does so in the belief that he had reasonable grounds for making the demand and that the use of menaces is a proper means of reinforcing the demand. For Scotland, see EXTORTION.
Collins Dictionary of Law © W.J. Stewart, 2006
References in periodicals archive ?
However, Blackmail doesn't quite pull off its farcical elements, relying almost entirely on extorting darkness from the script - which it successfully manages to do.
blackmailed the woman and threatened to post her images on Facebook if she did not pay him money.
"I will overcome this dreadful speculation about me, I won't weep and cry, I will prosecute those who use blackmail for financial and political goals.
He further stated that Ankara Mayor Melih GE[micro]kcek has some blackmail videos which is why he has been serving as a mayor for many years.
Eifion Howatson, 41, of Ruthin, admitted two charges of blackmail at an earlier hearing and was at Caernarfon Crown Court for sentence.
Yusuf Akbar, 33, of |Wynn Street, Edgbaston, Birmingham: Found guilty of false imprisonment, blackmail and GBH with intent.
Hampshire Police confirmed that Desmond Fraser, 20, from Birkenhead, Wirral, has been charged with blackmail.
Lee Platt, 28, Jennifer Green, 25, and Steven Malcolm, 42, are charged with blackmail and handling stolen goods.
A study by the commission last year found that blackmail often involves threatening to harm a woman's reputation by telling or showing her family scandalous information, and that victims typically range in age between 16 and 39.
Heather Nicholson, from Eversley in Hampshire, received 11 years after she was convicted of conspiracy to blackmail at a trial last year.
Mr Di Stefano said: "We are appealing against conviction - there was never any blackmail he wanted to expose."
Shane Rees Callison, 20, of Park Terrace, Swalwell, is accused of wounding with intent, kidnap and blackmail.