Jefferson County Federal Bribery Lawyer
It is all too common for public officials to be accused of bribery at one point or another in their careers. The media seems to focus much of its efforts on publicizing the transgressions of high-profile officials who already are very much subject to public scrutiny.
When federal bribery accusations surface, not only could you be subject to the severe penalties of a criminal conviction, but you also may face unwanted media attention that may easily taint your reputation and destroy your privacy, as well as that of your family.
White collar crimes may be complex and public scrutiny in these cases could be high, so contacting a Jefferson County federal bribery lawyer early on in the case may be beneficial to you. An accomplished federal defense attorney could help you avoid any legal repercussions while working to protect your reputation.
Defining Bribery of Public Officials Under Federal Law
While the Hobbs Act, 18 U.S.C. § 1951, was enacted in 1946 in order fight racketeering in disputes between organized labor and management, federal authorities routinely use it to combat bribery or extortion under federal law, whether at the federal, state, or local level. Bribery of a public official also is defined in more detail by 18 U.S.C. § 201.
Bribery may occur when a public official is accused of receiving gifts, offers, or promises of value in exchange for favors or duties. Demanding, receiving, seeking, and accepting anything of value in a fraudulent exchange also constitutes bribery.
In order to maintain a bribery charge, there must be evidence of intent to influence an official act or to influence public officials to either violate their duties or to commit or lend aid to fraud against the U.S.
Both officials who receive bribes and individuals who offer bribes may be held equally responsible under federal bribery laws. Bribery may involve public corruption in many cases, but it also may include a host of other white-collar crimes, such as embezzlement or obstruction of justice. A federal bribery lawyer in Jefferson County could help an accused person understand on what grounds they were charged with bribery and what steps they could take to clear their name.
Bribery of Witnesses
Bribery of witnesses also is a crime under 18 U.S.C. § 201. This criminal offense involves corruptly giving, offering, or promising anything of value with the intent to influence the testimony of any witness under oath before any court, Congressional committee, or federal agency authorized to hold hearings. Like bribery of a public official, both individuals who receive and offer bribes to witnesses may be charged. It is also illegal to demand, seek, receive, or accept anything of value in return for being influenced in testimony as a witness.
The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act
The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), 15 U.S.C. §§78dd-1, et.seq. outlaws bribery of foreign officials. The FCPA applies when individuals make, sanction, or agree to give money or anything else of value to foreign officials in order to influence them in their official duties or obtain an inappropriate business advantage. Violation of the FCPA may cause individuals to receive a federal prison sentence up to five years.
Penalties a Defendant May Face
Whether the charge is for bribery of a public official or a witness, individuals who are convicted of bribery may face the following penalties under federal law:
- A federal prison sentence of up to 15 years
- A fine of up to three times the value of the bribe
- Prohibition on holding any public office in the U.S.
Individuals facing bribery charges often face charges for other white-collar crimes, including fraud, conspiracy, and obstruction of justice, which carry their own penalties, as well. If charged with the crime of federal bribery, a defendant could file an appeal with the help of a Jefferson County federal bribery lawyer.
Talk to a Jefferson County Federal Bribery Attorney
A federal bribery charge carries a significant possibility of federal prison time and irreparable damage to your professional representation.
A Jefferson County federal bribery lawyer may be able to work with you to lessen media scrutiny, protect your privacy, and reach a positive resolution in your case. Contact an experienced federal criminal defense attorney today and learn about the potential defenses that may be available to you.