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8.143 Hobbs Act—Extortion or Attempted Extortion Under Color of Official Right

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(18 U.S.C. § 1951)

The defendant is charged in [Count ______ of] the indictment with [attempted] robbery in violation of Section 1951 of Title 18 of the United States Code. In order for the defendant to be found guilty of that charge, the government must prove each of the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt: 

First, the defendant [attempted to induce][induced] [name of victim] to part with property by the wrongful use of actual or threatened force, violence, or fear; 

Second, the defendant acted with the intent to obtain property; and 

Third, commerce from one state to another [was] [would have been] affected in some way.


Only a de minimis effect on interstate commerce is required to establish jurisdiction under the Hobbs Act, and the effect need only be probable or potential, not actual. United States v. Lynch, 437 F.3d 902, 908-09 (9th Cir.2006) (en banc). The interstate nexus may arise from either direct or indirect effects on interstate commerce. Id. at 909-10. When the effects are only indirect it may be appropriate to measure the adequacy of proof of interstate nexus by applying the test articulated in United States v. Collins, 40 F.3d 95, 100 (5th Cir.1994). 

For a definition of "affecting interstate commerce," see Instruction 8.143B (Hobbs Act—Robbery or Attempted Robbery). 

When the defendant has been charged with robbing or attempting to rob a drug dealer, the government satisfies the "affecting commerce" element of this crime if it shows that the defendant robbed or attempted to rob a drug dealer of drugs or drug proceeds. Taylor v. United States, 136 S. Ct. 2074 (2016). "[T]he Government need not show that the drugs that a defendant stole or attempted to steal either traveled or were destined for transport across state lines." Id. at 2081. 


Approved 12/2016