Bribery usually refers to payments of money or offers of benefits to secure a desired result. Bribery of a public official or other certain individuals is a felony charge that carries jail time. In addition, a conviction could prevent someone from holding public office or qualifying for a job that involves handling public funds or contracts.
Contact a NoVa bribery lawyer immediately if you believe you are suspected of these charges. A seasoned criminal defense attorney could provide you with legal counsel and aggressive advocacy to get you the best outcome the circumstances allow.
A bribe is an offer of money or influence to persuade another person to provide a benefit. According to Virginia Code §18.2-447, both paying a bribe and receiving a bribe are against the law. In addition, it is illegal to offer, agree to pay, agree to accept, or solicit a bribe.
There are specific laws governing bribery in particular circumstances. These laws include prohibitions on bribery of:
A United States Attorney could bring federal bribery charges. Conviction could lead to up to 15 years in prison and a fine of up to three times the value of the bribe. State bribery charges are Class 4 felonies and carry a sentence of up to 10 years in prison and a $100,000 fine. A lawyer in NoVa could help someone determine what steps they should take depending on their specific bribery charges.
As with all criminal matters, the specific defense depends on the facts of the case. However, some defenses often arise when prosecutors bring bribery charges. An experienced NoVa attorney could challenge the prosecutor’s case by showing that the admissible evidence is insufficient to support a bribery charge and lead to conviction. For example, prosecutors must prove that the money or item of value was given in exchange for the receiver’s influence or decision in a matter of concern to the accused. If the two parties had a long-standing relationship, it could be possible to raise doubt about the intent of the gift.
Another defense that commonly arises in bribery cases involves evidence-gathering techniques. Law enforcement authorities investigating someone suspected of bribery might use surveillance techniques that require special warrants. Challenging the validity of the warrant or sufficiency of the information supporting its issuance could prevent the prosecutor from using evidence obtained through the surveillance.
It could be possible for a defense lawyer in NoVa to arrange immunity from prosecution for certain individuals accused of bribery. Virginia Code §18.2-445 provides that a witness who testifies on behalf of the prosecution in a bribery trial cannot be prosecuted for the act that is the subject of their testimony.
When one of the parties to an alleged bribe is a public officeholder or another person in a position of public trust, such as a law enforcement officer or an election official, prosecutors have a strong interest in convicting that person. They might be willing to offer immunity to other participants in a bribery scheme to convict the person whose actions violated the public trust. Arranging a witness immunity agreement could be the best solution available when prosecutors have a strong case.
A bribery conviction could lead to prison and disqualify you from many opportunities for the rest of your life. Bribery is an extremely serious charge, and you need a defense attorney who will devote their focused skill and attention to your case.
Call on a NoVa bribery lawyer to get the fierce advocacy you need to defeat the charges. Schedule a consultation immediately if you are charged with bribery.
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