When bribery charges come to light, they can destroy the careers of public officials. But behind the news stories are the legal violations that can lead to years in prison for those who offer bribes as well as those who take them.
Both state and federal laws prohibit bribery, however federal convictions will draw much tougher penalties than state convictions.
What You Need To Know About Bribery And Corruption
Bribery refers to providing an official such as a judge, mayor, legislator or police officer, with money or something else of value in exchange for a decision or action that will benefit the person offering the bribe.
For example, a land developer can be found guilty of bribery if they offer cash to city council members to approve zoning for the development of a shopping center.
The bribe does not have to actually change hands. The promise of a bribe or kickback in exchange for a favor is usually enough to be considered a criminal offense.
As more and more companies sell their products worldwide, bribing officials outside the US is also on the increase.
Federal prosecutors often try to prosecute bribery and corruption charges under the Hobbs Act, which prohibits extortion that would negatively impact interstate commerce. They use the Hobbs Act because it makes it possible for them to ask for longer sentences than they could pursue under other statutes.
If you are convicted of bribery, you can face up to 15 years in prison and/or fines. You can also be disqualified from holding office in the US government.
Questions? Contact us today.
If you are charged with a federal crime, the consequences can be devastating. Fienman Defense will fight tenaciously to protect your constitutional rights. We will guide you through a court system that can be complex and intimidating, and provide you with the strongest possible defense.