Minor victim of theft or extortion (racket)

Verified 01 March 2022 - Directorate of Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister), Ministry of Justice

A minor victim of theft or extortion, commonly known as racket, can file a complaint with the help of his parents. It can also benefit from increased support from educational staff and specialized associations. The perpetrators of these acts are subject to serious criminal penalties proportional to their age (fine, prison).

What is stealing?

Theft is the act by which a person takes an object that belongs to another person, without their consent or authorization.

For example, taking a passenger's wallet on a train without them realizing it, or hitting a passerby on the street and ripping his mobile phone out of his hands.

Theft can be with or without physical violence.

It is an offense, that is, an act prohibited by law and punishable by a specific penalty.

What is extortion?

Extortion, often called racket, is the act of forcing a person to hand over an object or a sum of money, by threatening him or his relatives with violence.

The money may not be handed over immediately.

For example, the perpetrator asks the victim for a sum and gives him a period of time to find the money.

Extortion is a infringement punishable by a penalty greater than theft.

The child victim may go alone to the police station or gendarmerie brigade to drop off a handrail.

He can also let his parents file a complaint on his behalf.

However, only his parents will be able to take civil action and claim damages on his behalf.

On the spot

You must go to a police station or the gendarmerie of your choice.

Who shall I contact

The police or gendarmerie services are obliged to register the complaint.

The complaint is then forwarded to the public prosecutor for a decision on further action (investigation, closure without further action...).

If you don't know the perpetrator, you can fill out an online pre-complaint before traveling.

You will then get an appointment and the police or gendarmes will already have the elements of your complaint upon your arrival.

Online Pre-Complaint

By mail

You can file a complaint with the public prosecutor.

We need to send a free-form letter the court of law of the place of the offense or of the domicile of the offender.

Who shall I contact

The letter should specify the following:

  • Your marital status and full contact information (address and telephone number)
  • Detailed account of the facts, date and place of the offense
  • Name of the alleged perpetrator if known (otherwise, the complaint will be filed against X)
  • Names and addresses of any witnesses to the offense
  • Description and provisional or definitive estimate of the damage
  • Evidence: medical certificates, work stoppages, miscellaneous invoices, findings ...
  • Willingness to take civil action

File a complaint with the public prosecutor

Who shall I contact

You can send your complaint by registered letter with acknowledgement of receipt, by simple letter or by letter followed.

You can also file your complaint directly at the courthouse.

In any case, a receipt is given to you as soon as the Public Prosecutor's Office has registered your complaint.

The simple attempt of theft or racketeering sufficient to render a complaint admissible.

An attempt is made if the perpetrator has begun to commit the offense but has failed because of something beyond his control.

For example, there is an attempted racket if the perpetrator threatened his victim in a hallway but was caught by a teacher.

In case of fear of reprisals, the minor and witnesses may request that their personal address not appear in the file.

A minor who is the victim of school robbery or extortion (committed by other students) must be supported by the educational staff.

This is true even if the events did not take place in the building itself (on the sidewalk, for example) or if they are threats via the Internet.

The minor attending school can thus confide in a teacher, a principal education adviser (CPE), a supervisor or any other staff of the institution.

These people must help him and to report the facts to the head of the establishment.

The State party should take the necessary measures by informing the departmental services of the national education system.

The school head may also inform the police officer or gendarme "safety-school referent" assigned to his school, if this device exists.

The minor and his or her parents may also notify the national education authorities themselves if they wish to have measures taken by the head of the school.

These measures can be a change of class or sanctions against another student.


any teacher or other public official who becomes aware of an offense in the course of his duties must immediately notify the Public Prosecutor by sending him a letter.

Who shall I contact

In all cases, the minor victim of theft or extortion can contact a local victim assistance association to receive information.

Who shall I contact

He can also contact Stop Harassment or Net Ears in case of threats via the internet.

Who shall I contact
Who shall I contact

The penalties imposed depend on the facts concerned and the age of the perpetrator.

The facts may be recharacterized in the course of the investigation regardless of the characterization in the original complaint.

The author is an adult
Tableau - Maximum penalties


Maximum penalties

Single Flight

3 years in prison

€45,000 fine

Robbery with violence

5 years in prison

€75,000 fine

Extortion with violence

10 years in prison

€150,000 fine

The law allows the judge, in certain circumstances, to adjust the sentence and increase it.

Example :

In the case of extortion of a person whose particular vulnerability is apparent or known to the perpetrator. Vulnerability may be due to age, disease, disability, physical or mental impairment or pregnancy. In this case, extortion is punishable by 10 years imprisonment and €150,000 of fine.

The author is a minor and is over 13 years old
Tableau - Maximum penalties


Maximum penalties

Robbery with violence

2 and a half years in prison

€7,500 fine

Extortion with violence (racketeering)

5 years in prison

€7,500 fine

The author is under the age of 13

Of specific sanctions apply because the minor cannot be sentenced to pay a fine or go to prison.

Who can help me?

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