Bribery is considered a second-degree felony which can result in spending up to 15 years in prison and paying significant fines. It can also result in having a criminal record – which can affect your ability to obtain a job, rent an apartment, or receive financial aid and grants.
If you have been charged with bribery, contact an experienced Plantation bribery lawyer to discuss the charges against you and determine what legal defenses are available to you. Let an experienced criminal defense attorney fight for you.
How Does Florida Define Bribery?
Generally speaking, bribery is the act of offering, giving, receiving or using of money (or other items of value) with the intent to influence the behavior of a public servant or other individual. In other words, bribery occurs when someone offers or gives something of value to another in an attempt to ensure a specific outcome.
According to Florida Statutes Section 838.015, bribery is defined as corruptly giving, offering, or promising a public servant; or corruptly requesting, soliciting, accepting any benefit from a public servant with the intent to influence them to perform (or not perform) an act.
Prosecuting Bribery Charges
To prosecute bribery charges, Florida law does not require that the public servant be qualified to perform or not perform the act. In other words, bribing the wrong person is not a defense. Under Florida law, both the person offering the bribe and the one receiving it can be charged.
While most people think of bribery in connection with government officials, bribery can occur in many forms when someone in a position of power accepts money (or something of value) in exchange for performing an act or agreeing not to.
Florida recognizes other bribery charges such as the unlawful compensation or reward for official behavior, corruption by threat against a public servant, official misconduct, bribery in athletic contests, commercial bribery, bid tampering, and more.
In most cases, bribery charges in these areas relate to doctors, lawyers, accountants, arbitrators, professional advisors, trustees, guardians, a company’s management team, agents, or anyone in a fiduciary role. In many cases, these types of bribery charges are classified as third-degree felonies under Florida law and can result in spending up to five years in prison.
Bribery As a Federal Offense
Bribery can also become a federal offense when a federal official is involved. Facing federal bribery charges can be daunting and result in even greater fines and prison sentences in federal penitentiaries. A Plantation bribery attorney can work with individuals in order to mitigate the consequences of these charges.
Talking to a Plantation Bribery Attorney
If you have been charged with bribery in Florida or on a federal level, do not try to fight these charges alone. The stakes are simply too high and your reputation is on the line. Contact a Plantation bribery lawyer to review the charges against you. Let them evaluate every legal course of action and potential defense you might have to fight these charges.
Bribery convictions can affect you for the rest of your life. Call an attorney today to find out more about how they can help protect your rights and freedoms.