Although any accused person is considered innocent in the eyes of the law until otherwise proven guilty by the government beyond a reasonable doubt, allegations of receiving a bribe or offering bribes are crimes that the public often does not consider with the same degree of generosity or benefit of the doubt. When your career is in public service, and your duties and obligations are primarily to the constituents and people in your jurisdiction that your are sword to serve, the “Scarlet Letter” of a bribery conviction or even just an allegation, such as Bribery of a Public Official, pursuant to Title 18 United States Code Section 201, is an offense that can irreversibly damage a career and reputation whether or not you are exonerated. Not only is it critical to be armed with the best criminal defense and strategy in the courtroom, but it is arguably equally as important to have the right criminal lawyer to protect your name and integrity once your case has left the headlines or travelled through local gossip circles.Bribery of Public Officials
Bribery of Public Officials under Title 18, United States Code Section 201 makes it illegal for any Federal public official to demand, seek, receive, accept anything of value in return for (1) being influenced in the performance of any official act, (2) being influenced to commit any fraud on the United States, or (3) being induced to do or omit to do any act in violation of the official’s public duty.
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Federal Bribery laws also make it illegal for any person to give, offer or promise anything of value to any public official with the intent (1) to influence any official act, (2) influence any public official to commit a fraud on the United States, or (3) induce any public official to do or omit to do any act in violation of the official’s public duty.Sentences and Penalties
These crimes and charges are extremely serious offenses; one for which a person can be sentenced up to 15 years in prison and fined up to $250,000 or three times the value of the bribe, whichever is greater. There are numerous possibilities and complexities when it comes to sentencing in the federal context. Not only is the probation process sometimes a possibility, which comes with its own complexities, but the federal sentencing guidelines have become almost its own area and practice within the practice of criminal defense, so dense, complex, and impactful are the various factors and rules that go into a sentencing in federal court.Complexity of a Bribery Case
Bribery accusations and charges may be drafted in such a way that they sound relatively simple and straight-forward. However how those allegations are actually fleshed out and applied to a particular factual scenario can be quite complex. For example, a federal indictment might simply state that one person gave an amount of money to a public official in exchange for beneficial treatment on some project. That may be accurate, and all that is necessary for that charge to stick, but the actual allegations and facts of the case may encompass complex backroom dealings over a period of years or even decades. For that reason, it is imperative that any public official, or person who interacts with them, who finds him or herself on the receiving end of a federal Grand Jury subpoena or under investigation by federal law enforcement should seek out experienced counsel. Not doing so will not just likely disrupt or end your career, but potentially leave you incarcerated for years to come.
Do not wait for your criminal defense to come to you. Fight as best you can from a position of strength. Take the initiative in your defense and let Saland Law’s experience, advocacy and knowledge work for you.
Call the Federal criminal lawyers and former prosecutors at (212) 312-7129 or contact us online today.