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What is The Penalty for Blackmail?

What is The Penalty for Blackmail?

What is The Penalty for Blackmail?

The crime of online blackmail is a serious business that costs victims more than just their money but also their mental health. While every state has laws against blackmail, the penalties vary greatly depending on the jurisdiction and the severity of the offense. As most victims do, you might be looking for answers such as, “what is the penalty for blackmail?” and “can you even be charged?” read on to find the answers and more.

Where Does the Term Blackmail Come From?

To sum it up nicely Elizabeth Nix, a writer from states, “The word’s origins are linked to the chieftains in the border region between England and Scotland in the 16th century and part of the 17th century.

During that period, the chieftains ordered landholders to pay them to avoid being pillaged. The “mail” in the word meant “tribute, rent” and was derived from an old Scandinavian word, “mal,” meaning “agreement.” The “black” in blackmail is thought to be a play on “white money,” the term for the silver coins with which tenant farmers traditionally paid their legitimate rent.” (Nix, 2018)

Nowadays, blackmail generally involves threatening to expose an individual’s secrets or compromising information unless they pay a certain sum of money or comply with other demands. This kind of blackmail typically happens in private conversations between two individuals and can have devastating consequences for both parties involved.

Can You Get Arrested for Blackmail?

Yes, cyber blackmail is considered a crime and viewed as a form of extortion and theft so if caught, you can be arrested. In some cases, even the attempt to commit blackmail can lead to serious charges. In some jurisdictions, even if no actual threat was made or no harm done, simply trying to extort someone can be enough for criminal charges to be brought against you.

This is why it’s important to understand how serious this type of crime is and how far-reaching its consequences can be.

What is the Penalty for Blackmail?

The penalties for blackmail depend on where you live and how serious the offense is. For example, in some states, you may be charged with a misdemeanor if the amount of money involved was small and no physical violence was used. On the other hand, if physical violence was used or large sums of money were extorted, then you may face felony charges and much stiffer punishments.

In terms of actual punishment, if convicted of blackmail, you could face probation or even jail time depending on your situation.

You may also be required to pay restitution to your victims to help them recover any losses incurred as a result of your crime. Additionally, since most states view extortion as a form of theft, you could also face additional charges related to this crime such as larceny or robbery (depending on your state).

Additionally, those who are convicted of blackmail may have difficulty finding employment in certain professions due to their criminal record. This can make it difficult to find work in an already tight job market after serving time for your crime.


Blackmail is a serious crime that can have long-lasting consequences for the victim. If you are a victim of blackmail, it is your right to speak out and get the justice you deserve. The team here at Digital Forensics is ready to help victims of blackmail receive the support they need during this difficult time.

We hope we have given you the answer you need to the question, “what is the penalty for blackmail?” and some insight into where blackmail stems from. Be sure to take a look at our other blogs where we inform and offer tips on other cybercrimes.

Contact our blackmail helpline 24/7 if you become a victim of blackmail. We can help you to report blackmail on instagramblackmail on facebook, snapchat blackmail, whatsapp blackmail scam


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