Bribery: Statutes and Penalities

Bribery: Statutes and Penalities

Bribery: Statutes and Penalities
What is Bribery?
Bribery is an illegal action that involves offering or accepting a valuable asset in exchange for a particular service or good. The person who accepts the bribe (the accepting party) is generally required to perform a service which extends beyond their normal job function or which violates a distinct set of legal codes. A common example of bribery would take place when a motorist being ticketed for violating a traffic law offers the issuing officers money in exchange for a termination of the ticket.
While money is commonly used as a bribe, seemingly any service or asset can be used as a bribe. More intangible items, such as offers of real estate or a promise to deliver a particular service in the future, can be used as bribes. The crucial factor, the variable which defines a bribe, is that the object of value must be offered and subsequently accepted with the understanding that the accepting party will offer a service, good, or promise in return. 
As a result of the variance associated with the act, there are numerous penalties and punishments attached to the act. The codes of the crime as well as the particular statutes are dependent on the location where the alleged bribe took place. The fluctuation in codes and statutes is a result of the varying interpretations of bribery based on jurisdiction and locality. 
Bribery Statutes and Bribery Penalties
Modern statutes, in regards to bribery, possess four common characteristics at both the State and Federal level.  Bribery charges will (1) apply equally to receivers and givers; (2) are comprehensive, meaning the charges may include officials and all employees of the Government and those acting in capacity with a government; (3) Bribery statutes will treat bribery as a crime that can be committed by the briber even if the bribe is not accepted or the receiving party is not influenced by the bribe; (4) Bribery may be treated as a felony.
Neither on a State nor a Federal level exists a systematically and uniformly enforced punishment against bribery. Typically bribes that exist for political motivation or are in connection with a Government agency will carry the most severe punishments.
Regardless of the situation, however, if you have been accused of commuting a bribe, it is essential that you hire a criminal attorney to help navigate your litigation process. Individuals accused of bribery will face a misdemeanor or felony charge. 
The situation, the amount of the bribe offered, and the context in which the bribe was offered are the main variables which will elucidate upon the punishment. That being said, it is necessary to include an attorney or legal professional in your bribery case.




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