Colonial Heights Bribery Lawyer

A person can face bribery charges if they attempt to provide gifts to public officials, people serving the court system, or ask or receive bribes. There are two main branches of bribery in Virginia and they are reflected in Virginia’s statutes.  Someone facing these charges should consult an experienced defense lawyer.

Therefore, bribery not only covers instances where people provide gifts or money in exchange for a political outcome but also punishes those who receive those bribes.  A Colonial Heights bribery lawyer represents people who have been charged with all forms of bribery in Virginia. If you are facing these types of charges, it is imperative that you attain a legal representative.

Legal Definition

The classic definition of bribery is when a person pays or provides a gift to another person in an attempt to influence an outcome. This does not apply merely to political policies, but also to sporting outcomes, court proceedings, and process servers.

The most sensationalized version of bribery is when someone bribes government officers. This law requires an intended corrupting influence behind the gift. In other words, the gift must be given with the intent to change a government official’s stance on a topic, and cannot be merely a gift of good faith.

Penalties

Any person convicted of bribing a government official is guilty of a Class 4 felony and can face severe penalties and consequences. A conviction carries a minimum prison term of two years, with a maximum of 10. Just as it is illegal to bribe a government official, it is just as illegal for that government official to accept a bribe. Virginia law states that any officer of the Commonwealth who accepts a bribe is guilty of a Class 4 felony.

This statute requires that the prosecutor prove that the officer accepted the gift with the explicit understanding that the gift was intended to influence a position or vote. This statute also states that a candidate for a government position is just as liable under this law as a currently serving official.

There are other examples of bribery in Virginia that are less publicized than bribery of public officials but are no less illegal. These include:

  • Bribing a process server
  • Bribing a witness
  • Bribing a sports participant

The potential penalties for these crimes range from misdemeanors to felonies. A Colonial Heights bribery lawyer can help someone better understand the details and consequences of the statutes under which they are charged.

Building a Defense

Defending against a charge of bribery is a complex process. The prosecutor needs to prove that not only did the exchange of goods take place, but also that the exchange was intended to influence a person’s political stance or actions.

Prosecutors must rely on circumstantial evidence and third-party witnesses to prove their case. A case defending bribery is rarely a simple one. Attorneys must examine statements and affidavits of not only the principal parties involved but also other evidence such as visitor logs, warrants tracking movement and countless pages of communications data. A proper defense requires diligence and stamina.

Benefits of a Lawyer

A Colonial Heights bribery lawyer possesses qualities that can help an individual facing these charges. From the initial consultation, an attorney can listen to someone’s concerns and their ultimate goals for the case. Bribery is a serious offense that can carry a required jail term upon conviction. People accused of this crime should protect their freedom and speak with an experienced attorney.

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For a free consultation call (804) 977-0764
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Nicholas Braswell Attorney at Law

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