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The law against bribing an official in Homewood is shockingly easy to break by accident. In fact, many of these allegations are the result of simple misunderstandings.

Unfortunately, prosecutors rarely believe this story. Instead, they are likely to press charges and aggressively pursue a conviction for bribery. With the help of a Homewood bribery lawyer, you can fight these charges. A savvy defense attorney can help you protect your interests and your future by invoking your rights.

Bribing an Official in Homewood

Bribing an official in Homewood falls under Alabama Code § 13A-10-61. Importantly, this statute prohibits both the act of offering a bribe to a government official and the act of receiving one, so long as the bribe was made with the intent of influencing the official’s conduct.

While the range of conduct prohibited by the statute is broad, the range of people it aims to regulate is relatively narrow. Only public servants and government employees such as judges, lawmakers, or government advisors are affected and only if they are in office or about to take office at the time of the alleged bribe.

While the statute against bribery only deals with public servants, though, it does cover both sides of the transaction. Both the person making the alleged bribe and the public servant receiving it can face bribery charges.

No Change in Position is Necessary

A critical aspect of Homewood’s bribery law is that it focuses not on the results of an alleged bribe but on the alleged bribe itself. Even if a gift is made to a public servant for the purpose of influencing that official’s conduct but nothing comes of it, there can still be a bribery charge if the public servant understood that the gift was meant to influence their conduct.

Bribery charges can also come from simply offering a bribe to a public employee covered by the statute, even if the official does not accept the gift. A prosecutor can still obtain a conviction for bribery if they are able to prove that the gift was being offered for the purpose of influencing the official.

Penalties for Bribery

Bribery is a Class C felony offense in Homewood. Therefore, a conviction for bribery can carry a jail term of between one and ten years, as well as up to $15,000 in fines.

However, the penalties for a bribery conviction are not limited to just a fine and jail time. There are also collateral consequences of a bribery conviction, mainly coming from the blemish it puts on someone’s criminal history.

People who have been convicted of offering a bribe to a public official can find it difficult to secure a job that requires ethical conduct. Additionally, the felony-level offense can implicate their rights to vote or hold public office.

Public officials who have been convicted of receiving a bribe often find their public career in office over. Perhaps worse, the blemish on their reputation can make it all but impossible to return to politics or public life, making it essential to talk to a Homewood bribery lawyer.

Talking to a Homewood Bribery Attorney

Bribery is a serious offense in Homewood. Not only are the fines steep and the potential jail sentence long, but the ramifications of a bribery conviction can doom your personal, professional, and political career.

Talking with a Homewood bribery lawyer can make a huge difference, even if you have not been charged with a crime yet. Discussing your situation with an attorney can help you understand the legal repercussions and dangers of what you are facing. Armed with this knowledge of the law, you can make the decision that protects your rights and interests. Call today to schedule an initial consultation.

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