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DC Bribery Lawyer

D.C. Code § 22-712 defines bribery as when a person corruptly offers, gives, or agrees to give anything of value directly or indirectly to a public servant. That includes someone who corruptly solicits, demands, accepts or agrees to accept anything of value directly or indirectly as a public servant in return for an agreement that an official act of the public service will be influenced or will violate an official duty, or the public servant will aid in committing, colluding, or allowing any fraud against the District of Columbia.

In layman’s terms, that means someone offers to give something of value to a public servant or someone is a public servant and solicits or agrees to accept anything of value in exchange for performing an official act or failing to perform an official act. In other words, the decisions of the public servant are influenced by the agreement, offer, or acceptance of something of value. If you have been charged with a bribery offense, speak with an adroit fraud attorney. A skilled DC bribery lawyer could fight tirelessly in pursuit of a positive outcome for you.

Public Servants

A public servant is defined in DC as any officer, employee, or other person authorized to act for or on behalf of the District of Columbia government. This includes any person who is elected, nominated, or appointed to be a public servant or a juror. When someone is a juror, for the purpose of their jury duty, they are acting as a public servant.

There is a separate sub-section is under D.C. Code § 22-713 that specifically addresses the bribery of a witness as when:

  • A person corruptly offers, gives, or agrees to give a thing of value to another person
  • A witness, corruptly solicits, demands, accepts, or agrees to accept from another person a thing of value in return for an agreement that their testimony will be influenced in an official proceeding before a court, agency, or department of the District of Columbia government
  • The recipient will not attend such proceedings

The recipient of the bribe agrees to change or influence their testimony or they agree to be absent from that proceeding. This crime involves both the giver and the recipient. When a person is a public official, a witness, or a juror and agrees to accepts or demands something of value to influence the performance of their duties, that is bribery. When the person makes an offer to give something of value in exchange for some action or inaction that benefits the giver, that person can also be charged with bribery and should call a DC lawyer.

Why Would Someone Be Charged With Bribery?

When an individual is identified as offering or giving something of value to a public servant in exchange for an action or inaction by the public servant, they can be charged with bribery.

The most common situation where an individual is charged with bribery is when a public servant is found to have solicited, demanded, or accepted something of value in exchange for doing something in the performance of their official duties.

Public corruption is a focus of prosecutorial agencies. The US Attorney’s Office in the District has a public corruption unit that identifies public servants involved in any form of bribery. A DC lawyer could work to defend an individual against bribery charges.

Penalties Associated with a Bribery Conviction

The penalty for bribery is up to 10 years in prison, a fine of up to $25,000, or twice the monetary equivalent of the item of value. When the item of value is not money, the authorities identify the fair market value of the item. When a monetary bribe is involved, the maximum fine is twice the amount of the bribe or $25,000; whichever is greater.

Someone convicted of extortion can be imprisoned for up to 10 years and have a maximum fine of up to $25,000. A capable DC attorney could mitigate the bribery charges that an individual may face. The bribery of a federal official is a federal case. Penalties under federal law are oftentimes similar to these penalties under state law in DC. They are under the D.C. Code in the sense of the maximum. However, in federal cases, it is much more common to see prison time because the federal sentencing guidelines are harsher than the DC sentencing guidelines.

Consulting a DC Bribery Attorney

If you have been charged with a bribery offense, it is vital that you get in touch with a skilled attorney. An experienced DC bribery lawyer could examine the facts of your case and use that information to build your defense. Work with a qualified legal advocate that could build a solid case for you.

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