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College Park Bribery Lawyer

The art of proper gift giving can be complicated; doubly so when the recipient of that gift is the subject of one of College Park’s many anti-bribery laws. In short, it is illegal to bribe a public employee, a voter, a juror, or an athlete in any way that is intended to influence their actions.

Similarly, it is illegal to be one of these sorts of people and accept a bribe. The laws in the state take allegations of bribery very seriously. Although these are only misdemeanor-level offenses, a conviction under any of the statutes carries a potential jail sentence and heavy fines. It is essential that people facing allegations of bribery take an aggressive stance to protect themselves.

Hiring a College Park bribery lawyer could be a strong step for your future. An attorney could help to discover the relevant evidence in the case, to identify realistic goals, and to take the necessary steps to turn these goals into reality.

What does it Mean to Bribe Someone?

Maryland’s criminal code outlaws many instances of bribery. However, it does not provide an exact definition of bribery. For example, Md. Code, Criminal Law §9-201 says that it is illegal to bribe a public employee. It states that, “…a public employee may not receive a bribe, fee, reward, or testimonial…” It follows that a bribe can be any providing of a thing of value with the intent to influence the actions of a public official. The same statute provides identical punishments for people who are public employees that accept a bribe.

It is also illegal to attempt to bribe someone. This applies to not just public officials, but also to voters, jurors, and even athletes. Therefore, police can make an arrest as long as they believe that they have proof that a defendant has attempted to bribe a public official. This can be done even if the public official has not had any contact with the defendant. A College Park bribery lawyer could help clients to better understand what it means to bribe someone under state law.

What are the Consequences for a Bribery Conviction?

Just as there are multiple statutes prohibiting varying types of bribery, the penalties for violating these statutes also vary. The statutes and the attending penalties are:

  • Bribery of a Public Employee Code, Criminal Law §9-201. A misdemeanor offense with a jail term of between two and 12 years. A fine of between $1,000 and $10,000 may also apply
  • Bribery of jurors under Code, Criminal Law §9-202. Misdemeanor conviction carrying a jail term of between 18 months and six years
  • Bribery of voters under Code, Criminal Law §9-203. A misdemeanor offense with a maximum six-month jail term, a fine of no more than $500, or both

A conviction can also bring administrative penalties. For example, bribing a juror prevents a defendant from ever serving on a jury. In addition, any conviction will create a criminal record that may affect employability or eligibility for government benefits. A College Park bribery lawyer could help clients to understand the potential consequences for a conviction and to create goals designed to avoid this fate.

How a College Park Bribery Attorney Can Help

Allegations of bribery can be confusing and frightening. What may appear to be a simple gift could cause police to believe that impropriety has occurred. This may result in an arrest under any of the state’s myriad bribery laws. These laws all share a few things in common. A prosecutor must prove that a defendant intended to bribe another party for a specific purpose. Many defenses center around defeating this premise.

A College Park bribery lawyer could help you to avoid a bribery conviction. They can work to identify realistic goals, to conduct an independent investigation into the incident, and to protect your rights while in police custody and in court. Contact a College Park bribery lawyer to learn more about how they could help you.