San Diego Bribery Lawyer
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Bribery is considered a repugnant offense by the general public. To reflect this, the legislature has created a series of laws designed to prohibit and punish this behavior. It is a crime that punishes both the perpetrator and the benefactor and carries serious consequences if you are found guilty.
Because of bribery’s inherently secret nature, there is often times an active and lengthy investigation long before any formal arrest. It is important to retain a San Diego crimes against the government defense attorney as soon as you are aware of an investigation against you.
What Is Bribery?
Many people have a general understanding of bribery, but by law, there is a specific definition in order to classify the act as a criminal offense. To be charged with bribery, the police must have evidence that you made an offer to a public officer, or a public officer asks or agrees to receive something of value. Critical to the crime is the intent behind the act; there must be a corrupt intent with the purpose of influencing an official matter.
An important element of the crime is that it involves a public officer. This can include a variety of individuals, such as police officers, judges, councilmen, and even witnesses. The law of bribery consists of a number of legal and technical components and when facing these charges, it is important that you seek legal guidance to prevent self-incrimination.
Can I Go To Jail For Bribery?
Except in a few situations, bribery is generally charged as a felony and carries serious penalties including time behind bars and losing one’s public office. If you are found guilty, you could face the following:
- Two to four years’ imprisonment.
- Fines ranging from $2,000 to $10,000, if no money was exchanged, or a fine that is equivalent to the bribe amount; and
- As a public officer, you will be required to forfeit your office.
There is no real way to predict the length of time, if any, will be imposed at the time of sentencing. A judge will make a determination based on the specific facts of the case and your criminal history. As an alternative to jail time, the court can also consider probation. If you are facing a bribery sentence, it is important to hire the legal services of a San Diego bribery lawyer.
Fighting Bribery Charges
As a felony, the charges against you are serious. Nevertheless, the law presumes that you are innocent until you are proven guilty. In many bribery cases, there can be a conspiracy, entrapment or a simple misunderstanding that resulted in you being arrested and charged. Each case will be different, but your lawyer will be able to make the legal assessment required, and advise you of any of the following legal defenses available:
- Misunderstanding – There are always two sides of the story. In a lot of bribery cases, a jury will have to determine, which of the two people involved in the alleged offense is telling the truth. Even with a great deal of evidence, a misunderstanding negates the criminal intent that is important to the crime of bribery.
- Entrapment – This defense also questions the criminal intent of the individual charged. If the criminal idea was planted by the police or another working on their behalf, there is evidence of entrapment.
- Intoxication – Being under the influence of alcohol or any other drug that results in some form of impairment is a sound defense in a trial for bribery.
- Mistake – There are many instances in which an “offer”, especially when being arrested does not have the required criminal intent.
While it is the responsibility of the prosecutor to prove that you are guilty, with such a serious crime it is essential to play an active role in proving your innocence. With a competent lawyer, you can fight the charges against you.
Consult A San Diego Bribery Lawyer
At McElfresh Law, our lawyers are dedicated criminal defense attorneys. For years, we have offered high-quality legal representation for individuals charged with serious crimes, including bribery. Our legal team is equipped with the required experience and in-depth knowledge that you will need to beat those charges.
Being charged for bribery can be very troubling for you and your family. The potential jail time and loss of reputation will be paramount in your mind. At McElfresh Law, we know what is at stake and are committed to preparing and investigating your case with a focus on securing a not guilty verdict.
Call us today at (858) 756-7107 for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your case.