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Bribery occurs when a person uses money or promises of future favors to gain some kind of advantage, typically from someone in a government office or with political power. The risk of jail time and hefty fines may be bad enough, but your reputation in the community may also suffer following a conviction in federal court for giving or taking a bribe.
If you are worried about potential federal charges, you may want to seek help from a Midland federal bribery lawyer. A knowledgeable criminal defense attorney could explain applicable laws and work with you to build a comprehensive defense strategy tailored to your unique case.
Federal Bribery Investigations
Federal investigations of improper influence are typically handled through the Department of Justice (DOJ). Sometimes members of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) aid in the case.
If the matter involves a financial institution, the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) may also work together with the DOJ and other investigative agencies. Finally, the DOJ often works with local law enforcement to gather information and evidence, so speaking with a Midland federal bribery attorney may be key for anyone being investigated in this area.
Federal Bribery Code
Chapter 18 of the United States Code defines various types of criminal bribery. If such an action takes place in Midland, the DOJ can pursue charges against a suspect if that action violates federal law. A federal bribery lawyer in Midland may be able to help address the potential accusations an individual defendant faces and pursue a positive outcome to their case.
Bribing a Public Official
If a person promises to give something to a public official to influence that worker’s performance of their official duties, that is a crime under 18 U.S. Code §201. The term “public official” applies to most government workers at federal agencies, as well as those within the legal system. Upon conviction, the court may sentence a defendant to 15 years in federal prison and order a fine of up to three times the amount of the offered bribe.
Giving Illegal Gratuities to Public Officials
18 U.S.C. §201 additionally states that a person cannot give a tip or something else of value as a “thank you” based on a public official’s action in carrying out their duties. The potential punishments for this act are less harsh but could still include two years in a federal penitentiary and criminal fines.
Bribing a Bank Officer
It is a federal offense to attempt to improperly influence the behavior of a bank officer—either before the officer acts or afterward—for a corrupt or illegal purpose, as noted in 18 U.S.C. §215. In situations involving more than $1,000 in bribes, the court could order up to $1 million in fines and 30 years in prison. If the bribe was less than $1,000, the penalty could be one year in jail and smaller fines.
Schedule a Meeting with a Midland Federal Bribery Attorney
It may be important to seek legal counsel as soon as possible after you become aware the federal government is investigating you for bribery. The sooner you look for aid, the better your chances of receiving a favorable outcome may be. Call today to schedule an initial consultation with a Midland federal bribery lawyer.