Charles City Bribery Lawyer

Violations of bribery laws are rarely as dramatic as seen on TV and much more common than most people in Charles City realize. If a government contract is awarded without following proper procedures or a campaign contribution is not handled correctly, the parties involved suddenly may find themselves facing bribery charges.

The consequences of a bribery conviction can have serious long-term effects. Therefore, it is a good idea to consult a knowledgeable Charles City bribery lawyer if bribery accusations arise. Whether you are facing federal or state charges, a criminal defense attorney could help protect your rights and fight to help you reach a positive outcome in your case.

When Could Someone Be Accused of Bribery?

One facet about bribery to be aware of is the fact that an individual can face prosecution on either side of a transaction. Offering or paying a bribe is prohibited, of course. However, those who accept a bribe are equally culpable.

Moreover, asking for a bribe also constitutes a violation of bribery laws. It may not always be clear when someone is seeking a bribe or just expressing a desire for funding. A Charles City bribery lawyer may be able to prove that the actions in a case did not rise to a level worthy of prosecution for bribery.

State Bribery Statute

Va. Code Ann. § 18.2-447 describes situations where a person may be found guilty of bribery under state law. A bribe may be considered any financial benefit provided to influence a public servant or party official’s decision or other exercise of discretion, or to encourage a violation of the official’s legal duty. Any benefit provided to influence a decision in a judicial proceeding or administrative matter is also treated as a bribe under the statute.

The statute prohibits the following actions with respect to bribes:

  • Offering
  • Conferring
  • Agreeing to confer
  • Accepting
  • Agreeing to accept
  • Soliciting

Bribing a juror or other court official is also prohibited under Va. Code Ann. § 18.2-441. A Charles City bribery lawyer may be able to show that an alleged transaction did not occur or that it was not connected with a decision.

Federal Bribery Statute

The federal bribery prohibition applies to “public officials,” which is defined to include elected officials as well as any officer, employee, or person “acting for or on behalf of the United States.” Under 18 U.S.C. § 201, a person is guilty of bribery if they directly or indirectly offer, give, or promise something of value to a public official to influence an official act, seek collusion in fraud, or induce the official to fail to take action in dereliction of their duty.

Accepting or seeking bribes are similarly prohibited. Moreover, the statute also prohibits bribing of witnesses testifying in hearings or other proceedings. A bribery lawyer in Charles City could work to seek evidence to refute allegations that something of value was offered, sought, or accepted.

Penalties for Bribery

Whether charged under federal or state law, bribery is a serious offense. The federal penalties include up to fifteen years in prison and a fine equal to three times the value of the bribe.

Under state law, bribery is considered a Class 4 felony. Those found guilty may be sentenced to as much as ten years in prison and a fine as high as $100,000. Moreover, a convicted individual is unable to hold public office in the state. A Charles City bribery lawyer could seek to introduce evidence to mitigate any penalties levied.

Work with a Charles City Bribery Attorney

Having a conviction for bribery on your record can severely limit future opportunities. Accordingly, it is wise to take all available steps to defend against allegations of bribery, even if charges have not yet been filed.

An experienced Charles City bribery lawyer could work to protect your rights and minimize the negative consequences of a situation. For a free case evaluation to learn how a defense attorney could help in your circumstances, call now.