Bribery is the act of offering or receiving money or other valuables with the intent to sway an official’s conduct. When one person offers or gives something valuable to another to manipulate the outcome of that person’s actions, this is an act of bribery in which both individuals can be held culpable. Bribery can take place in a variety of settings. A simple bribery example may include a coach or other sports professional offering a referee money in exchange for looking the other way when his team makes a foul in a sporting event. Most frequently, bribery is committed among public officials.
When a person directly or indirectly offers or promises to give anything valuable to a public official with the intent to influence that official’s actions, he or she commits a federal bribery crime The General Federal Bribery Statute punishes many types of bribery acts. Punishment can be severe, which is why anyone accused of bribery should consult a criminal defense attorney in West Palm Beach.
Federal Bribery Crimes
The General Federal Bribery Statute makes several acts of bribery illegal, which adds to the complexity these cases often present. Bribery commonly relates to public officials, peace officers, judges, jurors, bank and sports officials. One can face harsh penalties that include steep fines for committing bribery. These penalties differ based on who was involved in the illegal act. Penalties for bribing bank officials, for example, can be much stiffer than those for bribing sports officials. Top legal counsel is strongly suggested should you face charges.
Bribery of a public official is a second degree felony offense. One can face fines of up to three times the amount that was offered/ accepted as a bribe, up to 15 years in prison, or both fines and prison time. Defenses to bribery do not include the fact that the official did not take the offered bribe or solicit it. Neither is the fact that the official was not in office at the time or did not have the power to perform the solicited act. If the official did solicit a bribe, it is no defense that the person solicited did not give or offer one.
It’s imperative to work with an experienced West Palm Beach bribery defense attorney. Brian Gabriel of The Law Offices of Gabriel & Gabriel has over 25 years defending those accused of bribery throughout South Florida. Call 561-622-5575 to schedule a free consultation.