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I mistakenly withheld company property as a bargaining chip…

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I mistakenly withheld company...

I mistakenly withheld company property as a bargaining chip for a better severance. I quickly came to my senses and gave the property to my former employer. they now want me to agree to not pursue future legal claims against them in exchange for not filing criminal extortion charges. can they do that? keep in mind I did not receive anything and I backed out of my demand very quickly as I realized I was creeping into waters I didn't want to be in

Lawyer's Assistant: In what state did this occur?

Colorado

Lawyer's Assistant: Have you talked to a lawyer yet?

No

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

I have a strong case for discrimination and the creation of a hostile work environment and I'm certain their worried about how ill proceed

Submitted: 8 months ago.Category: Criminal Law
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Answered in 3 minutes by:
9/22/2017
Criminal Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 8 months ago
Legal Eagle
Legal Eagle, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 11,471
Experience: Licensed to practice before state and federal court
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Hello! I am a licensed attorney, admitted to practice in state and federal court. I have a nearly 100% satisfaction rating so all that means is that you can count on me to help today. I’m sorry to hear about your situation. Generally, the answer is no, they cannot do this. If one party coerces another to do something in exchange for not pressing criminal charges, it is called extortion on their end. Only the state has the authority to make deals to officially not bring any charges against a person. Accordingly, my recommendation would be to give them back the company property, but avoid the talk of extortion charges altogether and focus on getting your appropriate severance. This may encourage them to enter into a deal with you. Keep in mind that the DA themselves could still bring charges even if the employer agrees to not bring charges, making their agreement pretty worthless.

Also, although I provided an initial answer, it’s important that you are 100% satisfied. If you feel I have done so, please rate me 5 stars and let me know if you have any follow up questions. As a side note, you can also click here in the future to request me individually.

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
I gave them back the property the same day. 15 min after returning the keys to the storage units, i received a call from a detective. He was actually very nice. He said he had been contacted and wanted to see if i knew that i it could be extortive. I told him i had already text my former boss saying i wasn't going to demand anything but rather i wanted to do the right thing and release the property. Then 4 days later I get this letter from HR telling me they need to update this detective on whether or not they want to press criminal charges but if i agreed to never come after them, theyd tell the detective no thank you on the filing of charges.
Customer reply replied 8 months ago
theyre pushing for the return of this agreement.
Could i really be charged with extortion?
the agreement is my severance pay by the way, agreeing not to have m e charged is my severance
Criminal Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 8 months ago

I see what you mean. What I would probably recommend is explaining to your old employer that you wouldn't like to agree to something about pressing charges. The main reason is because if you do this, and the DA decides to press charges anyway, they could use what you put in the agreement as an admission and hold it against you. Basically, it won't matter if the employer agrees to press charges, the DA can bring charges on their own regardless of your agreement. Thus, I would probably strongly suggest that you explain that you're willing to return the property and that you would like to move past this situation as soon as possible. Also, be sure to ask them to explain to the detective that it was a simple misunderstanding and that they would like to drop any request for an investigation at all going forward.

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
As i said, the property was returned the same day. I didn't hold onto anything. I told the detective i thought i could hold it to make sure they paid me but decided that was the wrong way to go
Customer reply replied 8 months ago
the detective said well if property is returned we can call this resolved.
Customer reply replied 8 months ago
i had already returned the keys by then
Criminal Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 8 months ago

I see. Technically, the DA could bring charges, but I highly, highly doubt that they would waste the time and resources to pursue this against you. It would cost more than what the property is probably worse. Plus, because the property is returned, there is little to go on.

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
do i tell my former employer I'm not signing it and hope they don't pursue the criminal aspect?
I cant see me being charged either as i gave it back same day
Criminal Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 8 months ago

Yes. My recommendation would be to tell your employer that you don't want to mistakenly admit to something that is unproven, that you're glad they have their property back, but that you'd like to leave this amicably and peacefully.

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