Bribery involves an attempt to influence the behavior or actions of another person by offering them gifts, services or monetary compensation. Bribery may involve political officials, government employees or other individuals in positions of authority. You can be charged with bribery at the state or federal level for either offering someone a bribe or taking one. If a bribery charge is currently pending against you, enlisting the help of a skilled defense lawyer should be your top priority.
You can be charged with bribery for attempting to persuade or influence any public official or public employee, any witness or juror involved in a civil or criminal case or any official presiding over a sporting event by offering them any type of property or personal advantage in exchange. Commercial bribery involves offering money, gifts or other benefits to an employee with the intent to influence his or her conduct or behavior towards their employer.
Bribery can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the individual who is offered or accepts a bribe and the amount of the bribe itself. For example, commercial bribery involving a bribe of less than $500,000 is treated as a Class A misdemeanor, which is punishable by a fine. Instances of commercial bribery involving amounts higher than $500,000 are treated as a Class 3 felony, which is punishable by a prison term of two to five years.
Bribery of sporting officials may also be treated as a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the type of bribe involved. Bribery of public officials or jurors is classified as a Class 2 felony, which carries a prison term of between three and seven years and a fine of up to $25,000.
Federal law identifies a wide range of scenarios which constitute bribery:
Under federal law, bribery is punishable by substantial fines along with a prison term of up to 15 years per offense. In many cases, federal prosecutors will also seek other charges against an individual accused of bribery, such as extortion, corruption, fraud, embezzlement and blackmail. An experienced criminal defense attorney can explain the different penalties associated with each of these charges.
Individuals who have been accused of bribery must take action quickly in order to protect their rights. The federal government does not take bribery charges lightly and you may be the target of investigation by a number of law enforcement agencies. Whether you’re facing bribery charges in the state of Illinois or in a federal court, Michael Schmiege and his legal team are ready to take your case. Our law firm understands the implications of a criminal conviction and remain committed to working towards the best resolution possible for your case.
Contact Michael Schmiege's nationally recognized boutique law firm for a consultation with a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney who will fight charges aggressively for you. We dedicate the time and resources necessary to give our clients the best possible opportunity for a favorable outcome. Aggressive, skilled legal counsel is always your best chance for a favorable outcome when your future is in jeopardy. Call a qualified defense attorney at our firm immediately to ensure you have strong legal representation in your case.
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