When a person is charged with a bribery offense, they could be at risk of being charged with a Felony depending on the details of their case. No matter how this offense is charged, accused individuals should do whatever they can to avoid a conviction since this type of offense could have devastating effects on a person’s future.
To learn more about how one of our experienced Attorneys at Leifert & Leifert could help, schedule a consultation today. A Sunrise bribery Lawyer could walk you advise you throughout the criminal process and work to get the best possible result for you. Call today to get started.
What is Bribery?
Bribery is regarded as a white-collar crime and is essentially the exchange, or offer to exchange, of goods, services, money, or something of value, in return for some sort of action. Bribery also involves requesting an official response in exchange for a special favor. People offer bribes to try to influence or change the outcome or decision made by another person. Often, the person offered the bribe is one of the following:
- Public officials
- Police officers or other local, state, or federal officers
- Jury members or the judge in a trial
Both the person offering the bribe and the person accepting the bribe can face bribery charges.
Bribery Charges Under Florida Law
Florida Statutes Chapter 838 § 16 prohibits the offering, giving, promising of something of value to a public official to influence that public servant to perform or elect not to perform some act or duty. It also prohibits a public official from requesting or accepting goods, money, or services in exchange for doing something. Under Florida law, offering to give money or services to a public official does not need to be specific. Merely asking a public servant what would be enough to influence their decision would constitute bribery. Additionally, a person could face bribery charges even if the public official who they attempt to procure the favor from was not qualified to perform the requested action. If convicted under state bribery law, a person could face up to 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
Bribery Charges Under Federal Law
In addition to charges under Florida state law, defendants can face federal bribery charges under the General Federal Bribery Statute (“GFBS”) or under other more specific federal bribery statutes. Anyone who offers or gives a public official something of value, either directly or indirectly, to influence that official’s decision or actions could face bribery charges under the GFBS, as outlined in 18 U.S. Code § 201. Similarly, any public official who accepts or agrees to accept those bribes could also face federal charges. The GFBS states that the following are some of the actions that constitute bribery:
- A public official trying to influence the performance or outcome of an official act
- A bribe to influence a person’s testimony
- A demand for a bribe regarding testimony
- A bribe or a demand for a bribe regarding the performance or discharge of a public duty
A federal court could impose a prison term of up to 15 years and a fine of up to three times the value of the bribe under the terms of the GFBS. Qualified local criminal defense Attorneys have had experience defending individuals under bribery charges under the GFBS and other federal bribery statutes.
Reach Out to a Sunrise Bribery Attorney
The charge of bribery has grave consequences. A conviction could send you to jail, and it could affect your professional reputation and your social standing. If someone has accused you of accepting, agreeing to, or offering a bribe, you need to get legal assistance from one of our Attorneys at Leifert & Leifert as soon as possible. It is crucial to work with a Sunrise bribery Lawyer who has experience defending individuals against both state and federal charges of bribery.