Remember when you were a kid? Sometimes the tough kids would get other kids to give up their lunches by threatening to punch them after school. The word coercion was not in most fifth graders' vocabularies but that is exactly what was happening. At its basic meaning, coercion happens when one person gets another person to do what he or she wants by threatening violence or damage to something the person values. As adults, coercion can be a crime when a person feels forced to do something that he has the right to say no to but doesn't do so out of fear.
Sometimes in a murky situation, coercion does not necessarily have to cause any injury to be a valid crime. There are even times the intent to harm does not have to be present for there to be charges. The incident could be an accident but coercion can still be present.
A Coercion Case Study
John and Kristi had been dating for almost six months. Their relationship was moving forward when Kristi's life became busier with school and her work schedule. John began to feel like Kristi wasn't paying enough attention to him and began texting Kristi at all hours of the day and night telling her how he felt rejected and dismissed. Kristi felt bad about John feeling that way but did not know what she could do differently. They made plans for an evening out.
As they were ending their evening, John wanted to come into Kristi's house. She said she needed to get up early the next day and told him no. John began telling Kristi how he was depressed and she was not helping the situation. He said if she didn't let him come in, he didn't know “what he would do” and that he was upset she wouldn't spend more time with him. John locked the car doors so that Kristi would listen to him. He meant no harm, but he wanted to talk to her. He wanted to persuade her to change her mind. While he was trying to talk to her, Kristi kept staring out the window or at the door handle. John became irritated because she wasn't listening to him, so he drove her home and walked her to the door. There, he said he was coming in to talk and held her arm so she knew he was serious. Kristi unlocked the door and then suddenly slammed the door shut before John was able to come inside. He banged on the door, yelling for her to let him in, until a neighbor opened up his door and asked if there was a problem.
If you have been accused of coercion by a significant other, you may be confused why or for what reason. You need advice from an experienced criminal defense attorney to assure the best results. The charges of coercion are often accompanied by domestic violence charges and the results can be embarrassing and a huge hit to your reputation. Your charges do not mean you are doomed. You are innocent until you are proven guilty. With the right defense, your charges can be reduced or even dismissed.
Steve Karimi can help you plan your fight against your coercion charges; he has your best interests at heart. Contact him today to schedule a consultation. His legal team will treat you with respect and will get you the help you need.