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.
  

Extortion is the obtaining of property from another, with his 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.

(Amended by Stats. 1939, Ch. 601.)

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. Effective January 1, 2015.)

520.
  

Every person who extorts any money or other property 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. 2011, Ch. 15, Sec. 380. Effective April 4, 2011. Operative October 1, 2011, by Sec. 636 of Ch. 15, as amended by Stats. 2011, Ch. 39, Sec. 68.)

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 any money or other property 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 money or property were actually obtained by means of such threat.

(b) (1) Every person who, with intent to extort money 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 money 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. 2016, Ch. 725, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 2017.)

524.
  

Every person who attempts, by means of any threat, such as is specified in Section 519 of this code, to extort money or other property 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. 1983, Ch. 1092, Sec. 295. Effective September 27, 1983. Operative January 1, 1984, by Sec. 427 of Ch. 1092.)

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 money, article of personal property or other thing of value, 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. 1987, Ch. 828, Sec. 31.)

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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