How Do I File a Blackmail Complaint?
Blackmail is the crime of threatening to reveal embarrassing, disgraceful or damaging information about a person to the public, family, spouse or associates unless money is paid to purchase silence. It is a form of extortion. Because the information is usually substantially true, it is not revealing the information that is criminal, but demanding money to withhold it. Blackmail has been defined in the broad sense to mean "compelling someone to act against their will or gaining or attempting to gain something of value." Courts vary on interpreting what "something of value" includes, but it is not necessarily a money payment in all cases. A criminal complaint is typically filed with the local police department or prosecutor's office.
The following is a Colorado statute:
18-3-207. Criminal extortion— aggravated extortion.
(1) A person commits criminal extortion if:
(a) The person, without legal authority and with the intent to induce
another person against that other person's will to perform an act or to
refrain from performing a lawful act, makes a substantial threat to confine
or restrain, cause economic hardship or bodily injury to, or damage the
property or reputation of, the threatened person or another person; and
(b) The person threatens to cause the results described in paragraph (a)
of this subsection (1) by:
(I) Performing or causing an unlawful act to be performed; or
(II) Invoking action by a third party, including but not limited to, the
state or any of its political subdivisions, whose interests are not
substantially related to the interests pursued by the person making the
(1.5) A person commits criminal extortion if the person, with the intent
to induce another person against that other person's will to give the
person money or another item of value, threatens to report to law
enforcement officials the immigration status of the threatened person or
(2) A person commits aggravated criminal extortion if, in addition to the
acts described in subsection (1) of this section, the person threatens to
cause the results described in paragraph (a) of subsection (1) of this
section by means of chemical, biological, or harmful radioactive agents,
weapons, or poison.
(3) For the purposes of this section, "substantial threat" means a threat
that is reasonably likely to induce a belief that the threat will be
carried out and is one that threatens that significant confinement,
restraint, injury, or damage will occur.
(4) Criminal extortion, as described in subsections (1) and (1.5) of this
section, is a class 4 felony. Aggravated criminal extortion, as described
in subsection (2) of this section, is a class 3 felony.