Minnesota enforces a criminal statute called coercion that prohibits individuals from making any of the following threats and causing another person to act against their will:
- A threat to physically harm or confine the person threatened or another person if they do not commit a robbery or attempted robbery;
- A threat to damage the property of the person threatened or another individual;
- A threat to cause damage to someone’s business or career;
- A threat to expose a secret or deformity, publish a defamatory statement, or otherwise expose someone to disgrace or ridicule;
- A threat to allege the commission of a criminal act, whether true or false; or
- A threat to disseminate a private sexual image without the subject of the image’s consent.
As you can see, coercion charges hinge on threats made by one person to another. Threatening to expose someone to ridicule can involve something as simple as spreading minor gossip about another person, an action that hardly warrants a criminal charge.
Recently, the Court of Appeals found that the section about exposing someone to disgrace or ridicule violates the First Amendment (State v. Jorgenson, 946 N.W.2d 596 (Minn. 2020)).
If you have questions about forced coercion in Minnesota, contact the Criminal Defense Attorney & Workers Compensation Law Offices of Arechigo & Stokka today.
Is Forced Coercion a Crime?
When someone makes a threat to physically harm or confine the person threatened or another person if they do not commit a robbery or attempted robbery, they can face the following penalties upon conviction:
- If neither the monetary gain received by the violator nor the loss suffered as a result of the threat exceeds $300, or the benefits received or harm sustained can’t be measured in dollars, a jail sentence of not more than 90 days and/or a fine of up to $1,000;
- If monetary gain or loss is more than $300 but less than $2,500, imprisonment for up to five years and/or a fine of up to $10,000; or
- If monetary gain or loss is more than $2,500, imprisonment for up to ten years and/or a fine of up to $20,000.
If you or a loved one is facing coercion charges in Minnesota, contact a criminal defense attorney right away.
Is Coercion the Same as Forcing Someone to Commit a Crime? Contact Arechigo & Stokka Today to Find Out
Our founding attorney John Arechigo focuses his practice on representing people facing criminal accusations. We have decades of combined experience helping clients find a way out of tricky situations.
At Arechigo & Stokka, we pride ourselves on providing direct, personalized representation. We take the time to meet with clients one-on-one, so we understand the details and your expectations for your case. We are confident that we have the experience and knowledge to protect your rights.
If you or a loved one is facing charges for coercion in Minnesota, contact our office today.
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Attorney John Arechigo has a passion for criminal defense in St. Paul, MN. John received his J.D., from Hamline University School of Law and also carries a Bachelor of Arts from, The University of Minnesota. John was named Attorney of the Year for 2019 by Minnesota Lawyer. Additionally, John was also named as a 2019 Rising Star and was selected to Minnesota Super Lawyers in 2021. He devotes nearly 100% of his practice to defending individuals charged with a crime.