Bribery Defense Attorneys
Defending Clients Against Serious Criminal Allegations of Bribery
Some people may try to use their wealth to get ahead, while others may face wrongful accusations of doing so. Bribery is the act of offering or providing compensation to another party to persuade them to act in a certain way. Charges can arise from different situations. Bribery can involve public officials, bank officers, and other private citizens who have a fiduciary duty. Depending on the circumstances, bribery can constitute a federal criminal offense.
The details of your bribery allegations may be unique, and these cases can be extremely complicated with a lot at stake, including your freedom, finances, and reputation. If you believe federal authorities suspect you engaged in bribery under any circumstances, make your first call to an experienced federal bribery defense lawyer at Duffy Law.
Investigations Into Bribery Schemes
Federal authorities know that many bribery schemes are complex. They can involve conspiracies between several parties to influence the actions of public officials or others in positions of power, from elected officials to government employees—including public school and university teachers, coaches, and administrators. When two or more people agree to a bribery scheme, they can also face federal conspiracy charges. This applies in most bribery cases, as they inherently involve the individual offering the bribe as well as the individuals accepting the bribe.
Many bribery schemes can affect public agencies or the public at large. This is why the federal government is willing to dedicate so many resources to investigating possible instances of bribery. Different investigating agencies may participate, including the Department of Justice (DOJ), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), state and local law enforcement, and more.
In many cases, an investigation may be underway long before you even know it. Investigators will try to gather as much evidence as possible before submitting the case to a federal prosecutor. In some situations, investigators may pose as potential participants in a bribery scheme, waiting to see if suspects will agree to the plan. In other situations, certain participants may cooperate with prosecutors to expose others involved in the bribery scheme.
No matter how an investigation begins or unfolds, never speak with investigators or federal agents without first consulting a skilled federal criminal defense lawyer. Contact us as soon as you believe you may be under investigation, and we can work to protect your rights.
Unlawful Acts of Bribery and Possible Penalties
Bribery laws prohibit many acts, each with its own potential penalties upon conviction. Examples of bribery crimes and the associated penalties include:
- Bribery of a public official – Fifteen years in federal prison and a fine that is three times the amount offered to the public official.
- Illegal gratuity to a public official – Two years in federal prison and criminal fines.
- Bribery or reward of a bank officer – If the bribe was more than $1,000, you can face 30 years in prison and fines of three times the bribe or $1 million, whichever is more. For bribes of less than $1,000, the penalties can include one year in prison and fines.
- Conspiracy – Conspiracy to commit a federal felony offense like bribery can mean five years in prison plus fines. Both the act of bribery and a conspiracy to commit bribery can be charged against the same person.
As you can see, the law takes bribery very seriously and allows for harsh consequences for convicted offenders. Hire the right defense attorney to protect your rights and defend against bribery allegations you may face.
Seeking the Right Defense Attorney
With such harsh consequences possible, anyone who faces bribery accusations should have an experienced federal criminal defense lawyer working on their case as early in the process as possible. You want an attorney who knows how to protect your constitutional rights, as well as your personal and professional interests and reputation.
Federal criminal court can be quite different than state criminal court. There are different procedures and laws involved, with harsher potential penalties, as well as opportunities to lessen your charges or sentence by cooperating with prosecutors. You want to make sure you always make the best decision in your specific situation regarding possible cooperating or guilty pleas. You need an attorney with experience in federal criminal court handling your case.
Defense strategies will differ depending on the alleged facts of each case. Common defense strategies in federal bribery cases include:
- Early intervention – In some cases, speaking with the federal prosecutor or cooperating as a witness can help your case, though you only should do so with the representation of a federal defense lawyer.
- Insufficient evidence to prove all elements of the charges – Prosecutors must prove all elements of your bribery or conspiracy charges beyond a reasonable doubt. Challenging their evidence can often result in a prosecutor or court dropping the case, an acquittal by a jury, decreased charges or lesser sentence, and more.
- Lack of intent to bribe – To obtain a bribery conviction, federal law requires that you had the specific intent to offer or receive a bribe. A common defense is that you did not possess any criminal intent when you offered or accepted a payment.
- Other applicable defenses – Additional affirmative defenses may be available to present in your bribery case. Our attorneys will evaluate your situation along with federal bribery laws to ensure we identify all possible options for your defense strategy.
Contact Our Experienced Bribery Defense Attorneys Right Away
Our attorneys at Duffy Law represent professionals, public officials, businesses, and other individuals facing bribery allegations and other federal criminal charges. With years of experience as federal prosecutors and federal defense lawyers, we have the knowledge of federal criminal law and procedures to defend against even the most serious charges. Please do not wait to call Duffy Law at (203) 946-2000 or contact us online so we can begin protecting your rights.