A charge of bribery can be very damaging to an individual and their family. For one, it makes it very likely that the person charged with bribery will lose their job and possibly any professional license. There may also be criminal consequences such as imprisonment or fines. Finally, there is a long-lasting injury to one’s reputation which can make it difficult to move forward. It can be hard to get another job, gain acceptance to a school, or be a respected member of the community after being accused of bribery.
A bribe is defined as the exchange of money or favors to encourage a person to do something for them. The charge of bribery can be for the person allegedly paying the bribe or the person accused of receiving one.
An Amarillo bribery lawyer can help you understand exactly what crime you or a family member is being charged with. A skilled lawyer can also help you fight against the charge and defend you in court. In Texas, bribery can be committed in a political setting or a business setting depending on the individuals involved in the alleged bribery.
Bribery and Corrupt Influences
Section 36.02 defines the charge of bribery, which is a second-degree felony.
A person commits bribery if they knowingly or intentionally offer, solicit, or accept any benefit in exchange for the person receiving the benefit:
- As a public servant, official, or voter
- To make a favorable judicial or administrative decision on their or another person’s behalf
- To violate a law as a party official or public servant
- To withhold from exercising their official discretion as a public official
An Amarillo bribery lawyer may be able to present the defense that the benefit or money was provided as a campaign or political contribution as allowed by the law.
Section 32.43 defines commercial bribery as when a fiduciary of a beneficiary engages in bribery.
A fiduciary is someone who is entrusted with the care and responsibility of a beneficiary. This can be an employee, agent, lawyer, officer, or director in the company. The beneficiary is anyone who the fiduciary is acting for. This can be an individual or a company. A person will be charged with commercial bribery if they are a fiduciary and they solicit or accept a benefit in exchange for changing their behavior with regard to their beneficiary.
For example, if a doctor accepted a bribe to change the treatment of their patient from another person they would have committed commercial bribery. This is because the doctor is the fiduciary in that relationship and the patient is the beneficiary. Violating this law can lead to a prison sentence or a fine depending on the circumstances.
How an Amarillo Bribery Lawyer Can Help
Bribery laws can be difficult to understand, especially since they apply both to political figures and commercial situations.
An experienced bribery attorney can help an individual understand the charges and determine which defenses may apply. For example, the lawyer will look at whether the action would be considered a political contribution rather than a bribe.
An Amarillo bribery lawyer can also help an individual decide how they want to proceed with this case. A person may want to avoid a trial, so the lawyer may be able to negotiate with the prosecutor for a dismissal or reduced charges.