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Is blackmail illegal in Hawaii?

Is blackmail illegal in Hawaii?

Blackmail, a timeless and grave offense in numerous nations, has persisted throughout centuries. It encompasses the act of extortion, typically through the coercion of individuals with the threat of exposing compromising or detrimental information unless compliance with the blackmailer’s demands is met. Thus, the question arises: Is blackmail illegal in Hawaii? Let’s explore the legislation encompassing blackmail and its application to the Hawaiian islands.

Is blackmail illegal in Hawaii?

Blackmail is illegal in Hawaii and is regarded as a criminal offense, falling under the category of extortion according to Hawaii state law. Extortion involves using threats or coercion to obtain money or property from someone. In Hawaii, the consequences of extortion can include fines and imprisonment.

Blackmail laws in Hawaii

Blackmail is considered a criminal offense in Hawaii, falling under extortion according to state law. Extortion involves using threats or coercion to obtain money, property, or other benefits from someone.

Under Hawaii Revised Statutes section 707-760, extortion occurs when a person knowingly and intentionally uses a threat to:

– Harm the person threatened or others

– Cause damage to the property of the person threatened or others

– Accuse someone of a crime

– Expose a secret that may subject a person to contempt, ridicule, or damage their reputation and credit

– Influence the actions of an official or cause them to take or withhold action

– Initiate or continue a strike, boycott, or other collective unofficial action unless the property demanded benefits the group the actor claims to represent

– Testify, provide information, withhold testimony, or withhold information related to legal claims or defenses of others

Extortion in the first degree occurs when the extortion exceeds a total of $22 within a year, or when making or financing any extortionate extension of credit, or collecting any extension of credit through extortionate means. This offense is a class B felony and carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000.

Extortion in the second degree is charged when the amount exceeds $50 in twelve months. It is considered a class C felony. Extortion in the third degree is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 1-year imprisonment and a fine of up to $2,000.

What to do if you are a victim of blackmail in Hawaii

When facing blackmail situations in Hawaii, victims can take specific steps on their own, including maintaining records and understanding their rights under state law. However, it is highly recommended for victims of blackmail or attempted extortion to seek professional assistance from a criminal defense lawyer specializing in such cases. A competent attorney can offer invaluable guidance throughout the legal process, ensuring the protection of your rights as a victim. They may also negotiate with prosecutors on your behalf for potential reduced sentences or leniency, depending on the circumstances of your case.


No one deserves to be subjected to blackmail threats or accusations. Unfortunately, many people find themselves in this position at some point in their lives. If this happens, victims shouldn’t be frightened or sit pondering whether blackmail is illegal in Hawaii. Instead, they need to understand their rights under state law and take appropriate action against those responsible for making such threats or accusations. By doing so, victims will have greater peace of mind, knowing that those attempting coercion are swiftly brought to justice.

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