Worcester Bribery Lawyer
Although it is relatively uncommon, bribery is classified as a white-collar crime that often makes headlines when a high-level politician or public official is involved.
Bribery offenses are a misdemeanor under Maryland law, but they carry potentially lengthy sentences of incarceration, depending on the situation. Calling a Worcester bribery lawyer may be a positive step in the right direction when dealing with bribery charges. Consult a skilled fraud attorney today and know that you are in capable hands.
What Constitutes Bribery
Bribery in very general terms refers to individuals who give something of value to another in exchange for unlawful gains or benefits from that individual. The gains or benefits received by the individual offering the bribe typically are related to the other individual’s job, official position or other position of power.
Maryland’s bribery laws apply equally to all parties involved, whether they are the party offering or giving the bribe or the party accepting the bribe.
Bribery of a Public Official
One of the most commonly known types of bribery involves public officials, which is a situation that often makes the news, particularly with respect to politicians. Md. Code, Crim. Law §9-201 prohibits individuals from bribing or attempting to bribe public officials or employees in order to influence the performance of an official duty.
Similarly, this code section makes it illegal for public employees to ask for or obtain a bribe that is meant to influence the performance of an official duty.
Public employees specifically include all individuals employed by the state or a political subdivision of the state, such as county and other public authorities, as well as executive officers of the state or a political subdivision, judges and judicial officers, members of the General Assembly, Baltimore City or State police officers.
Bribery of a Juror
Maryland law also prohibits bribery of a juror pursuant to § 9-202. Individuals violate this code section when they bribe or attempt to bribe, a juror in order to have an influence on the outcome of a verdict after a trial. This section also bans jurors from receiving or attempting to receive bribes.
Bribery of a Voter
According to § 9-203, bribery of a voter is a criminal offense. More specifically, individuals are prohibited from giving or promising to give some type of gift or reward in exchange for a particular type of vote in an election, and from receiving bribes for the same purpose. Individuals also may not provide free alcoholic beverages to voters on Election Day at any location in the state.
Bribery in Athletic Contests
- § 9-204 and § 9-205 cover bribery in athletic contests. These sections prohibit bribing or attempting to bribe individuals in relation to an athletic contest, as well as receiving or attempting to receive bribes.
Possible Penalties for a Bribery Conviction
All bribery offenses are misdemeanors in the state of Maryland. However, the penalties for bribery convictions are far harsher than for some other types of misdemeanor convictions. The maximum potential fines and prison sentences are as follows:
- Bribery of a public official – two to 12 years and $100 – $5,000 fine
- Bribery of a juror – 18 months to six years
- Bribery of a voter – six months and $500 fine
- Bribery with respect to athletic contests – six months to three years and $100 to $5,000 fine
Additionally, a bribery conviction can result in further consequences, as well. For instance, an individual who is convicted of bribery of a public official may not vote or hold an office of trust or profit in Maryland.
Since the potential penalties for a bribery conviction, no matter the type, are serious, individuals who are accused of bribery may want to get legal advice from a bribery lawyer in Worcester.
Speaking with a Worcester Bribery Attorney
Bribery charges may be rare, but they can have serious repercussions if you are convicted of this criminal offense. Plus, even if you are merely accused of bribery, your case is likely to make the news and may damage your reputation in the community.
Contact a Worcester bribery lawyer today, who may be able to help you build a strong defense to the charges against you and minimize the consequences that may result.