Any criminal charge, whether misdemeanor or higher level, has the potential to change the course of your life. However, federal-level offenses are particularly grave as they can result in consequences that could include lengthy prison sentences and other complications. White-collar crimes, which are financially motivated offenses, are federal crimes. While they do not typically involve an element of violence, they can lead to decades behind bars.
One common type of white-collar crime is bribery. This offense is the act of offering something of value in exchange for a benefit, often from a government official, or a person with access to funds or sensitive information. If accused of bribery, it is in your interests to take steps to build a strong defense and seek the best possible outcome to your situation.
Using money for influence
Bribes are often in the form of money, but they can also include offering physical assets and other types of benefits in exchange for influence, such as gifts, valuables, privileges, services and favors. Bribery is often associated with political corruption and business transactions. It is not necessary to have a written agreement to prove bribery, but often, the prosecution will look to prove some or all of the following elements:
- The individual offered the bride is a public official, or works for the federal government or state of California.
- There was an offer of something of value, either tangible or intangible, in exchange for influence.
- The person offered the bribe has the power to influence an important decision.
- There is evidence of a connection between the act and the payment given.
It is not always easy to investigate or prosecute bribery cases. It is possible that you could face these serious charges even if an alleged attempt to bribe was not successful or the action was not contrary to public interest. You could also face these charges if you did not initiate the bribe but followed through with it.
Your future at stake
Defending against federal-level charges is not an easy process. It is in your interests to seek legal guidance regarding your legal options as soon as possible after an arrest or an investigation into your actions. Due to the severe nature of the penalties you could face if convicted of bribery, you will benefit from having knowledgeable counsel at every step of the process.