Code Section Group

Penal Code - PEN

PART 1. OF CRIMES AND PUNISHMENTS [25 - 680]

  ( Part 1 enacted 1872. )

TITLE 13. OF CRIMES AGAINST PROPERTY [450 - 593g]

  ( Title 13 enacted 1872. )

CHAPTER 7. Extortion [518 - 527]
  ( Chapter 7 enacted 1872. )

518.
  

(a) Extortion is the obtaining of property or other consideration from another, with his or her consent, or the obtaining of an official act of a public officer, induced by a wrongful use of force or fear, or under color of official right.

(b) For purposes of this chapter, “consideration” means anything of value, including sexual conduct as defined in subdivision (b) of Section 311.3, or an image of an intimate body part as defined in subparagraph (C) of paragraph (4) of subdivision (j) of Section 647.

(c) Notwithstanding subdivision (a), this section does not apply to a person under 18 years of age who has obtained consideration consisting of sexual conduct or an image of an intimate body part.

(Amended by Stats. 2017, Ch. 518, Sec. 1. (SB 500) Effective January 1, 2018.)

519.
  

Fear, such as will constitute extortion, may be induced by a threat of any of the following:

1. To do an unlawful injury to the person or property of the individual threatened or of a third person.

2. To accuse the individual threatened, or a relative of his or her, or a member of his or her family, of a crime.

3. To expose, or to impute to him, her, or them a deformity, disgrace, or crime.

4. To expose a secret affecting him, her, or them.

5. To report his, her, or their immigration status or suspected immigration status.

(Amended by Stats. 2014, Ch. 71, Sec. 123. (SB 1304) Effective January 1, 2015.)

520.
  

Every person who extorts property or other consideration from another, under circumstances not amounting to robbery or carjacking, by means of force, or any threat, such as is mentioned in Section 519, shall be punished by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170 for two, three or four years.

(Amended by Stats. 2017, Ch. 518, Sec. 2. (SB 500) Effective January 1, 2018.)

521.
  

Every person who commits any extortion under color of official right, in cases for which a different punishment is not prescribed in this Code, is guilty of a misdemeanor.

(Enacted 1872.)

522.
  

Every person who, by any extortionate means, obtains from another his signature to any paper or instrument, whereby, if such signature were freely given, any property would be transferred, or any debt, demand, charge, or right of action created, is punishable in the same manner as if the actual delivery of such debt, demand, charge, or right of action were obtained.

(Enacted 1872.)

523.
  

(a) Every person who, with intent to extort property or other consideration from another, sends or delivers to any person any letter or other writing, whether subscribed or not, expressing or implying, or adapted to imply, any threat such as is specified in Section 519 is punishable in the same manner as if such property or other consideration were actually obtained by means of such threat.

(b) (1) Every person who, with intent to extort property or other consideration from another, introduces ransomware into any computer, computer system, or computer network is punishable pursuant to Section 520 in the same manner as if such property or other consideration were actually obtained by means of the ransomware.

(2) Prosecution pursuant to this subdivision does not prohibit or limit prosecution under any other law.

(c) (1) “Ransomware” means a computer contaminant, as defined in Section 502, or lock placed or introduced without authorization into a computer, computer system, or computer network that restricts access by an authorized person to the computer, computer system, computer network, or any data therein under circumstances in which the person responsible for the placement or introduction of the ransomware demands payment of money or other consideration to remove the computer contaminant, restore access to the computer, computer system, computer network, or data, or otherwise remediate the impact of the computer contaminant or lock.

(2) A person is responsible for placing or introducing ransomware into a computer, computer system, or computer network if the person directly places or introduces the ransomware or directs or induces another person to do so, with the intent of demanding payment or other consideration to remove the ransomware, restore access, or otherwise remediate the impact of the ransomware.

(Amended by Stats. 2017, Ch. 518, Sec. 3. (SB 500) Effective January 1, 2018.)

524.
  

Every person who attempts, by means of any threat, such as is specified in Section 519 of this code, to extort property or other consideration from another is punishable by imprisonment in the county jail not longer than one year or in the state prison or by fine not exceeding ten thousand dollars ($10,000), or by both such fine and imprisonment.

(Amended by Stats. 2017, Ch. 518, Sec. 4. (SB 500) Effective January 1, 2018.)

525.
  

Upon conviction of a felony violation under this chapter, the fact that the victim was an elder or dependent person, as defined in Section 288, shall be considered a circumstance in aggravation when imposing a term under subdivision (b) of Section 1170.

(Amended by Stats. 2004, Ch. 823, Sec. 10. Effective January 1, 2005.)

526.
  

Any person, who, with intent to obtain from another person any property or other consideration, delivers or causes to be delivered to the other person any paper, document or written, typed or printed form purporting to be an order or other process of a court, or designed or calculated by its writing, typing or printing, or the arrangement thereof, to cause or lead the other person to believe it to be an order or other process of a court, when in fact such paper, document or written, typed or printed form is not an order or process of a court, is guilty of a misdemeanor, and each separate delivery of any paper, document or written, typed or printed form shall constitute a separate offense.

(Amended by Stats. 2017, Ch. 518, Sec. 5. (SB 500) Effective January 1, 2018.)

527.
  

Any person who shall sell or offer for sale, print, publish, or distribute any paper, document or written, typed or printed form, designed or calculated by its writing, typing or printing, or the arrangement thereof, to cause or lead any person to believe it to be, or that it will be used as an order or other process of a court when in fact such paper, document or written, typed or printed form is not to be used as the order or process of a court, is guilty of a misdemeanor, and each separate publication, printing, distribution, sale or offer to sell any such paper, document or written, typed or printed form shall constitute a separate offense, and upon conviction thereof in addition to any other sentence imposed the court may order that all such papers or documents or written, typed or printed forms in the possession or under the control of the person found guilty of such misdemeanor shall be delivered to such court or the clerk thereof for destruction.

(Added by Stats. 1929, Ch. 593.)

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