Is Coercion a crime in Minnesota?
Yes, it can be. And so can blackmail and extortion, by any person. Minnesota Statutes Section 609.27 defines the crime of coercion. The 2017 version states:
Subdivision 1. Acts constituting. Whoever orally or in writing makes any of the following threats and thereby causes another against the other’s will to do any act or forbear doing a lawful act is guilty of coercion and may be sentenced as provided in subdivision 2:
(1) a threat to unlawfully inflict bodily harm upon, or hold in confinement, the person threatened or another, when robbery or attempt to rob is not committed thereby; or
(2) a threat to unlawfully inflict damage to the property of the person threatened or another; or
(3) a threat to unlawfully injure a trade, business, profession, or calling; or
(4) a threat to expose a secret or deformity, publish a defamatory statement, or otherwise to expose any person to disgrace or ridicule; or
(5) a threat to make or cause to be made a criminal charge, whether true or false; provided, that a warning of the consequences of a future violation of law given in good faith by a peace officer or prosecuting attorney to any person shall not be deemed a threat for the purposes of this section; or
(6) a threat to commit a violation under section 617.261 [NONCONSENSUAL DISSEMINATION OF PRIVATE SEXUAL IMAGES, a/k/a revenge porn.]
Minnesota Statutes Section 609.275 makes a separate crime of Attempt to Coerce, where one of the above threats are proven beyond doubt, but the threat failed to cause the intended act or forbearance. An attempt to coerce conviction is sentenced according to the general attempt statute, Minnesota Statutes Section 609.17 either as a misdemeanor or if a felony to one-half the sentence for the completed crime.,
Historically, this crime has not often been charged in Minnesota. In recent years, however, this crime has been becoming more frequently charged.
This criminal statute can also be of use to criminal defense attorneys as well as lawyers in civil cases, for what may be obvious reasons.
Question? You can call Minneapolis Criminal Defense Lawyer Thomas Gallagher at (612) 333-1500