The crime of bribery is defined by Black’s Law Dictionary as the offering, giving, receiving or soliciting of anything of value to influence action as an official or in discharge of a legal or public duty. Bribes can take many forms: gifts, tips, free services, privileges, direct or indirect payments of money, kickbacks, award of government contracts and other forms of special treatment.
Bribery is known to take place in government, in the corporate world, in professional sports, and in dealings with foreign businesses and foreign political regimes The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, in fact, makes it unlawful for a United States citizen, as well as certain foreign issuers of securities, to pay a foreign official in order to obtain business with any person.
Under federal law, bribery is outlawed under 18 U.S.C. § 201, and sets penalties up to three times the monetary amount of the bribe, up to 15 years in prison and disqualification from holding any public office.
Defenses to Bribery Charges
If you are charged with bribery, you must act promptly to evaluate and potentially attack the evidence produced by the government. In most cases, the government’s case is built upon covert surveillance evidence gathered through video or audio tape recordings. If these recordings were not gathered properly within the parameters all 4th, 5th, and 14th Amendment limitations, they may be suppressed. If suppressed, they cannot be used against you at trial.
In addition, there may also be an entrapment defense if it can be shown that the crime would never have occurred (or was highly unlikely to occur) had law enforcement agents not induced the defendant to commit the offense. Entrapment issues may be difficult to develop, but they are often very present in public corruption sting operations where bribery is being charged.
The Law Offices of Mark S. Guralnick will also leverage its skill and experience to discredit weak witnesses and participants in any alleged bribery scheme through aggressive cross-examination and impeachment tactics. Through this process, we will ferret out inconsistent testimony, biases, motives and other predispositions that expose the weaknesses in the government’s case.
Please contact the Law Offices of Mark S. Guralnick at 1-866-337-2900 for a free case evaluation, if you or anyone you know is facing a criminal charge involving bribery or a related offense.