If you have been charged with a Federal or Florida bribery offense, enlisting the help of an experienced attorney can significantly improve your chances of achieving a positive outcome in your case. Delray Beach bribery lawyers can explain your options and fight to protect your rights to the full extent of the law. Speak with a distinguished criminal attorney that can build a defense strategy that is tailored to the specific facts of your case.
Florida’s Bribery Laws
Bribery is a form of political corruption in which something of value is offered, given, solicited, or accepted as a means of influencing a public official or employee. Like other white-collar crimes, bribery is an offense defined by both State and Federal statutes. One core concept of bribery laws is that the bribee (the person who accepts the bribe) and the briber (the person offering the bribe) can be charged.
Bribery is defined in Section 838.015 of the Florida statutes and there are two types–bribery of a public servant and bribery by a public servant. In Florida, the term public servant includes:
- Any officer or employee of a governmental entity, be it in the executive, legislative or judicial branch
- Any individual, with the exception of witnesses, who act as a general or special magistrate, receiver, auditor, arbitrator, umpire, referee, consultant, or hearing officer while performing a governmental function
- Any person elected to public office or any candidate for election or appointment to an officer position listed in Section 838.014
Florida also criminalizes bribery in athletic contests and commercial bribe receiving. Those offenses are defined in Sections 838.12 and 838.16, respectively.
Types of Bribery Charges
Bribery of a public servant means that a person knowingly and intentionally gave, offered, or promised a pecuniary or other benefit, to a public servant, with the intent or purpose of influencing that public servant in the performance of any act or omission that the person making the bribe believed to be in the public servant’s official discretion, in violation of the public servant’s duties, or in furtherance of the public servant’s duties.
Bribery by a public servant occurs when a public servant knowingly and intentionally requested, solicited, accepted, or agreed to accept for themselves a pecuniary or other benefit with the intent of being influenced in the performance of any act or omission the public servant represented as being in their official discretion, in violation of their duties, or a function of their duties.
It is a defense to bribery charges if the pecuniary or other benefit was authorized by law. In bribery prosecutions, the state is not required to prove:
- That the public servant involved had assumed office
- That the public servant was qualified to act in the desired way
- That the public servant had jurisdiction over the matter
- That the public servant’s official action was necessary to achieve the purpose of the person making the bribe
Bribery of or by a public servant is a second-degree felony, punishable by 15 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines. A Delray Beach bribery attorney can attempt to mitigate the penalties that the accused faces.
Contacting a Delray Beach Bribery Attorney
A Delray Beach bribery lawyer can be equipped to handle the complex nature of public corruption cases. Your attorney can work to aggressively pursue the best results possible for you. Contact a skilled legal advocate that can devote the time and resources necessary to provide a positive outcome for you.