Orlando Bribery Lawyer

In Orlando, the offense of bribery is considered a second-degree felony, and a conviction for this serious charge could lead to steep fines, as well as incarceration. Of course, you have steps you can take to fight back against a conviction for bribery. Bribery is a white-collar crime, which can be either classified as a federal or a state crime, depending on circumstances surrounding the offense.

If you have been arrested for bribery, it is important that you seek out legal counsel as soon as possible. The sooner you focus on your defense strategy, the better odds you have of avoiding a conviction. Let an Orlando bribery lawyer advocate for you during the course of your criminal case.

What is Bribery?

The concept of bribery involves giving a person in power something of value in an effort to influence their behavior when they are serving in their official capacity. The ultimate goal of a bribe is to pay for a specific outcome that is under the control of the official in question.

According to Florida Statutes § 838.015, bribery is the intentional act of giving or offering something of value to a public servant with the intent to influence their performance. This could also involve influencing a public servant to avoid taking any action at all. Typical bribery situations generally involve the following public agents of entities:

  • An employee
  • An agent
  • A professional practitioner such as a doctor, lawyer, accountant, etc.
  • A sports official
  • A business partner or business director

It is noteworthy that there is an intent element to the crime of bribery. If a person accused of bribery does not act with the intention of influencing an official to take a specific course of action, they have not committed the offense of bribery. This is true even if they did give something of value to that individual. An Orlando attorney could build a defense around the lack of intent to commit bribery.

Penalties for Bribery in Orlando

It is not necessary for the state to prove that the public servant performed the act as promised. In fact, a bribe can occur even when the government official lacks the power to take the action they were paid to take.

There is also no requirement under the law that the state provide evidence that the government official sought a bribe or made any attempt to solicit one. The crime itself is focused entirely on the intent and actions of the person allegedly making the bribe. There does not have to be a meeting of the minds between the parties and the official does not have to accept. The mere offer of a bribe is enough to bring criminal charges.

Under the law, this offense is treated as a felony of the second degree. Penalties can include:

  • 15 years in prison for bribing a public official
  • A fine of up to 3 times the amount of the bribe for bribing a public official
  • 5 years in prison for bribing a sporting official
  • 15 years in prison for bribing a port authority figure
  • 30 years in prison for bribing a bank official
  • A $1 million fine for bribing a bank official

As a felony offense, other serious consequences can attach, like losing the right to vote or own a firearm. The good news is that an acquittal will avoid all of these consequences. An Orlando bribery attorney could fight back against these charges.

Reach Out to an Orlando Bribery Attorney as Soon as Possible

Bribery charges can often result out of a misunderstanding. A poorly timed joke with a humorless government employee could result in an arrest. There is also sometimes a thin line between permissible payments, legal gratuities, or incentives offered to the organization as a whole and wrongful conduct. This could lead to either possible misperception or accidental violations of the law.

If the State Attorney proceeds with the prosecution, the lawyer will fight to show that even if the prosecution witnesses truly believed a bribe was being offered, that there actually was no bribe within the meaning of the law. Remember, there are both sides of the law that can argue whether an action was bribery or not.

If you have been charged, the right attorney could help. Reach out to an Orlando bribery lawyer as soon as possible to learn more.

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    Orlando Bribery Lawyer