Anne Arundel County Bribery Lawyer
Each year, there are many cases of bribery that occur in Maryland. While a large number of these cases involve law enforcement officers who are in the process of making an arrest, there are also many cases that occur involving politicians and public officers.
Bribery is a serious offense that can result in particularly significant consequences, the assistance of a local attorney can help tremendously. As a result, it is often important to obtain the assistance of an Anne Arundel County bribery lawyer if you have been charged with bribery.
Classifications of Bribery
Maryland state law classifies bribery as a misdemeanor. While many individuals believe that misdemeanors do not result in serious charges, being convicted of bribery can be particularly significant. Bribery is actually one of the most serious misdemeanor charges that a person can face.
To establish a bribery case, the prosecution must show that an offer of value was made by the defendant to a public officer or official. It is important to understand exactly what each of these elements means:
- Public Officers. A public officer includes several different types of individuals, including judges and law enforcement officers.
- Intent. The prosecution must establish that the offer in question was made with the intent that the thing of value would influence the public official in the performance of their duties.
- Actions. The prosecution must also prove that the defendant intended to influence a public official’s actions, decision, judgment, opinion, or vote. These bribes must be offered for a specific reason.
- No Valuables Requirement. Money or anything else of value does not need to be exchanged for the prosecution to convict an individual.
In addition to Maryland state law, there are also federal laws prohibiting bribery. 18 United States Code Section 201 states that any individual who indirectly or directly gives, offers, or promises anything of value to a federal public official in an effort to influence that official is committing bribery.
These offenses are punishable by fines that are at least equivalent to three times the value of the bribe as well as a maximum prison sentence of 15 years.
Consequences of Bribery
Individuals who are charged with bribery can be expected to face between two to twelve years in prison as well as a fine between $100 and $5,000. Additionally, individuals who are convicted of bribery can face additional consequences that may follow them the rest of their lives, including loss of the right to vote and inability to hold a public position.
Contacting an Attorney
Anne Arundel lawyers are dedicated to helping defend you or a loved one against a bribery charge. While these offenses are very serious, an Anne Arundel County bribery lawyer is still often able to help. Consider contacting today to learn how an experienced attorney can help you.