Bribery has happened many times in the history of the United States when somebody is trying to have something work out to his or her benefit. Bribery, by definition, is the practice of offering, giving, or receiving something for the purpose of influencing an official in discharge of their legal duties. Under Statute 18 USCS prec 201 (b), whoever gives or promises anything of value to a public official with the intent to influence an act, they will be fined for bribery. The punishment of a fine cannot be more than three times the monetary equivalent of the item of value or imprisonment for not more than fifteen years. If the court so chooses, they can give both punishments. They may also be disqualified from holding any office of honor or trust under the U.S. government. There is also something known as commercial bribery, which is the giving of anything of value to any private agent, employee, or fiduciary without consent. Bribes can take on many forms. For instance, they can be gifts or payments of money in exchange for favorable treatment like awards of government contracts. They can also include forms such as property, various goods, privileges, and more.
Bribery is something that goes hand in hand with both political and public corruption. You may see it happen in the sporting world, where one boxer may offer another a payoff to lose an important fight. If a sporting official is caught participating in the act of bribery, the punishment can consist of a fine and imprisonment. There is also something known as the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which was executed in 1977. This act makes it unlawful for a United States citizen to pay a foreign official in order to obtain business with somebody. In 1998, a provision was added to the act that applies to foreign firms and people who take a corrupt payment while they are operating in the United States. This year, a federal judge sentenced a Navy Officer named Lt. Cmdr. Todd Dale Malaki to 40 months in prison for providing ships and submarine schedules illegally to a contractor in Malaysia in exchange for cash. The executive, Leonard Francis, bribed Navy officials with extravagant gifts to obtain specialized information that helped put the Navy out of at least $20 million. This sentence is seen by many as significant; however, it was found that Malaki’s corruption has been happening for more than seven years. The 44-year-old was also charged with a $15,000 fine and $15,000 in restitution to the Navy. Many other men were involved and have been receiving their sentences as of late.
So, what are some criminal defense strategies to the crime of bribery? These convictions will depend upon evidence such as surveillance recordings and more. The police, however, must act within the restraints of the 4th Amendment if they want to acquire this information. The evidence will be suppressed if not. If enough evidence against the defendant can be dismissed, then the case will also be dismissed. Allegations of bribery are extremely serious and can affect everything you do for the rest of your life. This is why it is always a good idea to hire a lawyer to defend your rights. Call The Law Office of Peter Blair today to find out more information about your case!