Alberta Legal | Criminal Defence Lawyers

Alberta Legal |
Criminal Defence Lawyers

Call Us Icon Criminal Lawyers Phone Number Email Us Icon Criminal Lawyers Email


Blackmail Lawyer Calgary

Alberta Legal provides specialized legal services in Calgary for individuals facing blackmail or extortion charges. Our team offers expert guidance and tailored defence strategies to navigate complex legal challenges effectively.

  • Personalized Defence Strategies
  • Experienced Legal Representation
  • Comprehensive Case Analysis
Home Practice Areas Blackmail Lawyer Calgary

Being accused of blackmail or extortion can feel like a slap in the face for a hardworking person just trying to get what is owed to them by another, be it goods or services or payment for goods or services. If someone has accused you of extorting them or blackmailing them, it’s not something you should automatically dismiss as hyperbolic language. Extortion, also known as blackmail, is an indictable offence in Canada, and in case of a guilty verdict, the maximum sentence is life in prison.

Don’t risk your freedom and reputation without talking to an experienced criminal defence lawyer. You may feel that what you said or did was reasonable to get the other party to fulfill their obligations to you. Misunderstandings can happen, though, and the other person may try to turn the tables back on you to avoid giving you what you’re due. Each situation is different, though, and at Alberta Legal, criminal lawyers craft a personalized defence that considers your case’s unique details. Contact us today to protect your rights if you have been accused of such a serious crime.

If you have been a victim of an extortion scam, our criminal lawyers may also be able to help you. The person who perpetrated the fraud or extortion should be held accountable. Call our offices to learn more.

Protecting Canadians From Online Crime Act

What Is Extortion?

When many people think about “extortion,” they may think about a mob boss demanding “protection money” from vulnerable business owners. Or, when thinking about blackmail, they may imagine someone spying on someone else and threatening to reveal secrets about them unless the spy is paid money. While both of these actions could end up with the extortionist or blackmailer facing jail time or criminal charges, these are not the only forms of extortion.

Canadian law as in the criminal justice system defines extortion as stealing by coercion, threats, menace, or violence. That is, an extortionist aims to get something by forcing another person to cooperate through intimidation and/or fear. Usually, extortion is for financial gain. However, extortion can take other forms, such as one person coercing or blackmailing another for sexual favours or threatening the other person with consequences, if they disclose certain information.

Suppose you look at a common workplace sexual harassment example. In that case, a boss threatening to fire an employee unless the employee performs sexual acts with the boss would be a form of coercion and, therefore, could be construed as extortion.

The extortionist doesn’t have to personally carry out their threats, either. They may make use of a third party to execute the threats, such as hiring someone else to torment or do bodily harm to the alleged victim or their family. This is an extreme example, but some extortionists use violence to achieve their goals.

Part IX of the Canada Criminal Code covers criminal offences of extortion and its various related offences. Although there is no official blackmail charge in the Code, for the most part, a blackmailer would likely face extortion charges.

Extortion and blackmail don’t have to occur in person, nor do these crimes always happen between people who know each other. With the rise of the internet has come the rise of internet blackmail scams.

Sextortion and romance scams are among the most popular. Romance scams and sextortion occur when someone forms a relationship with another to defraud them through blackmail. There may be threats to send screenshots of conversations or release intimate photos or videos the victim sent in an attempt to get the victim to pay money or perform some specific act.

Other scams involve defrauding businesses through extortion. An extortionist can use malware to hijack a business’s computer system, then threaten to erase all the company’s data or crash the system unless the extortionist is paid.

Some blackmail scenarios may be born from a misunderstanding. Perhaps another person took your emotional words to have a more sinister or threatening meaning or your actions were perceived as blackmail. You may be in an argument with someone and act as if you’ll be violent with them, or say you’ll tell everyone their secrets unless they do something for you. When you calm down, you may have no intention of doing so – you were just upset. But the law may see it differently. A lawyer can help the courts see your side of the issue.

Even if you did intend to blackmail or extort someone, you still have the right to a fair trial and a defence lawyer to advocate for your interests. It’s important to have a lawyer for blackmail to protect your rights.

One thing to note: Under the Canada Criminal Code, threatening to file a civil suit or initiate legal action is not considered extortion. So, if you believe you have the right to file a suit for criminal harassment against another person and tell them you plan to do so, you can’t be charged with extortion for advising them you’ll sue.

The Importance of a Blackmail Lawyer

Being convicted of extortion in Canada could lead to life in prison. With that serious consequence, having a lawyer becomes even more crucial. A criminal lawyer with experience defending people against charges of blackmail and extortion gives you a better chance of a positive outcome for your case than if you attempted to go it alone.

For example, your words could be taken out of context. What you may have said in the heat of the moment may look like a threat if a judge or jury didn’t know the entire conversation leading up to those statements. Or perhaps there is a justifiable reason why you made the statements. A skillful lawyer can help explain the totality of the circumstances and demonstrate that you didn’t intend to extort the other party.

If you’re charged with extortion in Canada, there’s a good chance that you may be prosecuted. To convict you of criminal charge, the Crown Prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you intended to threaten or coerce the other party to give you money or something else of value. The prosecutor must also prove that you did not have a reasonable justification to threaten or menace the other party and that there was no legitimate excuse for your actions.

Much of the Crown’s evidence against you may be your own words, texts, or emails. It’s frustrating to have your own words used against you, and you may rightfully feel indignant. Your lawyer may be able to help add context to the black-and-white words on paper and explain your motivations more eloquently than you might be able to.

Or perhaps you were justified in threatening the other party. Each case is different; in some situations, you may have had a very good reason to coerce the other party. Perhaps they owed you money and haven’t paid you. You may respond by telling them you will no longer perform a service or otherwise provide them with anything unless they pay. Your words may be stretched to be perceived as a threat, and the debtor may be trying to blame you to avoid paying you what they owe. You and your lawyer can review your case to determine the right legal steps to take moving forward.

Another way an experienced blackmail lawyer can help you is to challenge your arrest. Perhaps it was unlawful under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Mistakes can happen, and a lawyer who understands the difference between a lawful arrest with criminal negligence and one with legal problems may be able to get you out of jail or even have your charges dismissed. Their knowledge of Canadian rights and criminal law can benefit you.

Suppose you are charged with extortion. What now? Extortion is an indictable criminal offence. If you’re convicted, you’ll spend some time in prison, even if you don’t get a life sentence.

The Canada Criminal Code states that the penalty for extortion starts with a four-year minimum imprisonment if a firearm was used but not for the benefit of a criminal organziation. If a firearm was used and the extortion was for the benefit of or at the direction of a criminal organization, the minimum sentence is five years in prison. The maximum sentence for extortion in Canada is life in prison.

Even if you’re convicted of extortion, a lawyer may still be able to help your case. Judges often consider mitigating factors when sentencing, just as they consider aggravating factors in criminal conviction. Your lawyer may be able to show that there were mitigating factors in your case and plead for a lighter sentence.

Qualities of a Blackmail Lawyer

When you face the possibility of life in prison if convicted, choosing the right extortion lawyer may be the most important decision you make in your life. You may not want to go with the first lawyer you talk to. In fact, you can interview a few extortion defence lawyers, get to know them, and understand how they would approach defending you or someone in a similar situation.

What are the qualities of a good blackmail lawyer? First, they should be someone you trust and feel comfortable talking to. You’ll likely be talking about things that are uncomfortable or embarrassing. If you might have been a little in the wrong, lost your temper, or were emotional in your conversation with the other party, it’s normal to feel a bit nervous talking about the incident once you’ve calmed down. Trust is essential, as your lawyer may be unable to craft the best defence for you without knowing all the facts, even the difficult ones.

You also need a lawyer who has experience defending people in extortion or blackmail cases. The Canadian laws surrounding these charges can be complex, and often, crafting a solid defence, especially with murky facts and little evidence, takes a deep understanding of the applicable laws. Your lawyer should know what tactics the Crown prosecutor may employ and how to properly present your side of the story to achieve the best effect.

Experienced criminal defence lawyers should also have a firm understanding of the rules of evidence and the procedural rules in court. They may be able to introduce exculpatory evidence on your behalf or use the laws to exclude evidence obtained in violation of your rights before it can be presented by the Crown.

Witness testimony may be an integral part of your case. If so, look for a lawyer skilled in deposing and interviewing witnesses. Your lawyer should be able to get at the truth and, if a witness is lying to make you look worse, expose the lies.

If your case goes to court – and you should always expect to have a trial, just in case – you’ll need a skilled courtroom advocate. There are certain procedures and etiquette that lawyers and others in a trial must follow. A seasoned trial lawyer can guide you through the process, advising you on what to do and say and indicating when you should remain silent and let them do the talking.

Defences to Extortion Charges

When talking to potential criminal defence lawyers, you may ask them what kinds of defences they would use in an extortion case. Depending on your situation, your criminal prosecution lawyer may use one of these common defences to exonerate you:

  • No coercive intention: You did not intend to threaten the other party. Perhaps your words were taken out of context, or maybe you were emotional, reacted, and said you’d do something you wouldn’t dream of doing in reality. In these cases, your lawyer may produce more context to the situation that shows you did not intend to threaten the other party to make them give you something (money, favours, property, etc.). To prove extortion, the Crown must show that you intended to threaten the other party.
  • Proving property ownership. Perhaps the other party has something of yours or owes you money. That property rightfully belongs to you – you cannot extort your own belongings from someone else, only demand that they return it or pay you what is owed. Maybe the other party does not want to pay you the money you’re owed, or they want to keep your property, and so they accused you of extortion. Your lawyer may argue that the property belongs to you and produce evidence to prove it.
  • Insufficient evidence. Some cases of blackmail and extortion may have little evidence or inadequate evidence to support the charge. It may be a case of your word against the other party’s, with nothing written down and no witnessed actions. Your lawyer may question whether the Crown prosecutor has enough evidence to support the charge of extortion against you. Or they may show how the evidence that the prosecutor has is faulty (or both).
  • Incapacity. Incapacity may include being under the influence of alcohol or drugs or having a mental disorder that may prevent you from making sound decisions. If you are legally incapable of extorting someone or intoxicated to the point where you aren’t being rational, your lawyer may present you as being unable to extort or blackmail someone. This may be a difficult thing to prove, but incapacitated individuals may not be mentally capable of knowing right from wrong.
  • Lack of a threat. Perhaps you were loud and angry when demanding the return of an item or money you’re owed, or perhaps the entire situation is just a misunderstanding. You may not have actually threatened the other party or attempted to force them to do certain things. Your lawyer may find evidence that there was no intimidation, force, or threat in your case and, therefore, no extortion.
  • You’re innocent entirely. Could the other party just be making up the story out of whole cloth? You may not have extorted or attempted to extort or blackmail the other person. If your lawyer shows that you didn’t do it, you may go free.


If someone has accused you of blackmail or extortion, your life could change forever. If convicted, you’ll spend years, or even the rest of your life, behind bars. Finding the right criminal defence lawyer for blackmail will greatly affect how your case plays out. An experienced extortion defence lawyer can help protect your rights and advocate for your interests in court.

At Alberta Legal, we handle even the toughest extortion defence cases. We believe everyone has the right to a skilled, vigorous legal defence, and that’s what we deliver. Our legal team has deep knowledge of the Canadian Criminal Code, and we’ll keep you updated on changes in the law that could affect your case. We also have resources to investigate the details of your case and find the best evidence to support your defence.

Don’t try to face these serious charges alone. Contact our offices today for a confidential consultation.

Let Us Call You Back Free Consultation

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Client’s Experience With Our Lawyers

Our Success stories

Ross Lutz Scale Icon
GMB Icon for Ross Lutz Barristers Calgary

Liam Nelson

Testimonial Stars Ross Lutz Barristers Testimonial Stars Ross Lutz Barristers Testimonial Stars Ross Lutz Barristers Testimonial Stars Ross Lutz Barristers Testimonial Stars Ross Lutz Barristers

Dedication, Support, Ethic, Knowledge, Experience, Sharp and Direct. All the qualities your are looking for in a lawyer, they have it all and some. But JILLIAN WILLIAMSON was my guardian angel. Being a Client, I was comfortable to blindly leave my fate in their hands. That was a real well placed investment in the future of my life. I second, promote, referred and all the synonym possible to anybody facing an up hill battle and needs the support and experience to help you go through it.

GMB Icon for Ross Lutz Barristers Calgary

K. V

Testimonial Stars Ross Lutz Barristers Testimonial Stars Ross Lutz Barristers Testimonial Stars Ross Lutz Barristers Testimonial Stars Ross Lutz Barristers Testimonial Stars Ross Lutz Barristers

I am so very pleased with the work Mathew Deshaye put into my case! He genuinely is a good person, and is determined to get justice. Matthew is extremely professional and I couldn’t have been happier with having him represent me. I’m glad that I could work with him. Dina his assistant was also great with communicating back and forth with me. I made the right choice by retaining Matthew as my lawyer and I hope you do the same. I am in tears with how grateful I am. I’m so very thankful for the work and research that went into helping me with my case! Thank you! 🙂

GMB Icon for Ross Lutz Barristers Calgary

Jan Ciganik

Testimonial Stars Ross Lutz Barristers Testimonial Stars Ross Lutz Barristers Testimonial Stars Ross Lutz Barristers Testimonial Stars Ross Lutz Barristers Testimonial Stars Ross Lutz Barristers

I was involved in a motor vehicle case and I knew I needed outstanding representation. Jim Lutz, Lacey and his team were nothing short of perfection. I was thoroughly impressed how he handled my case with expedited tenacity. The judicial system can be very confusing with how everything works ,but Mr. Lutz was very easy to communicate with and simplified everything. If you need a lawyer who is on the ball, Jim without a question is the person who should represent you. I highly recommend Mr. Lutz and his team! Thank you very much Sir and your team for all outstanding professional services.

Airdrie Calgary Canmore Drumheller Edmonton Lethbridge Red Deer Saskatoon