Is Blackmail Illegal in Arizona?


Extortion, blackmail, bribery: these are all terms for white collar crimes, which the state of Arizona takes very seriously. Depending on the situation of the crime, a person can face up to three years along with penalties if convicted.

Committing Blackmail or Theft by Extortion

Blackmail and extortion are interchangeable terms for the same crime. According to A.R.S 13-1804, a person can be charged with extortion by knowingly obtaining or seeking to obtain property or services by a threat to do in the future any of the following:

  • Cause physical injury to anyone by means of a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument or cause death or serious physical injury to anyone
  • Cause damage to property
  • Engage in other conduct constituting an offense
  • Accuse anyone of a crime or bring criminal charges against anyone
  • Expose a secret or an asserted fact, whether true or false, tending to subject anyone to hatred, contempt or ridicule or to hurt the person’s credit or business.
  • Take or withhold action as a public servant or;
  • Cause a public servant to take or withhold action
  • Cause anyone to part with any property

Blackmail by means of physical harm is a class two felony, any other form is a class four felony.

Committing Bribery

A person commits bribery when he/she offers money or gift to a person in power to influence their actions or decisions.

  • AR.S. 13-2309 criminalizes bribery of sports affiliates to influence the game in any way. Violators can be charged with a class 4 felony.
  • AR.S 13-2602 states that bribing public servants or party officials in order for them to vote or act in any certain way is a class 4 felony.
  • AR.S. 13-2605 explains that a person that bribes an employee of a business in order for them to acts in a way that hurts that business is committing
    • A class 5 felony if the bribe is more than $1000
    • A class 6 felony if the value is less than $1000 but more than $100
    • A class 1 misdemeanor if the value is less than $100.

Under Arizona law, the act of accepting a bribe is also considered extortion.

Penalties for Blackmail, Extortion and Bribery

Misdemeanor Charges

Committing a Class 1 misdemeanor can carry up to 6 months in jail and fines reaching $2,500.

Felony Charges

Felony Class

Minimum Jail Time Maximum Jail Time


1.5 years

3 years


9 months

2 years


6 months

1.5 years

We Help Blackmail Defendants in Arizona

If you think that you might be under investigation for extortion, blackmail or bribery in the Phoenix metro area, make sure you talk to an extortion attorney who can help you understand the specific legal issues involved in your case.

JacksonWhite white collar crime attorneys have years of experience that can be by your side during trial. Our team has successful results with previous white collar and blackmail defendants, and we can help you next.

Call the JacksonWhite Criminal Law team at (480) 467-4370 to discuss your case today.

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Call (480) 467-4370  or fill out the form below to get your free consultation and discuss your best legal options.