The crime involving a threat for purposes of compelling a person to do an act against hisor her will, or for purposes of taking the person's money or property.
The term blackmail originally denoted a payment made by English persons residing alongthe border of Scotland to influential Scottish chieftains in exchange for protection fromthieves and marauders.
In blackmail the threat might consist of physical injury to the threatened person or to s omeone loved by that person, or injury to a person's reputation. In some cases the victimis told that an illegal act he or she had previously committed will be exposed if the victim fails to comply with the demand.
Although blackmail is generally synonymous with Extortion, some states distinguish the offenses by requiring that the former be in writing.
Blackmail is punishable by a fine, imprisonment, or both.