Washington DC Bribery Lawyer

The media is full of stories about public officials who are accused of bribery and corruption. If you are accused of bribery, not only could you face sanctions under either DC and/or federal law, depending on the situation, but you also can expect to become subject to intense scrutiny by the media.

Due to the complexities of state and federal bribery cases, as well as the high-profile nature of these cases, you should strongly consider contacting a Washington DC bribery lawyer as soon as you become aware of the accusations against you. A seasoned attorney could help you fight these charges by building a strong defense and advocating on your behalf.

Bribery Defined by Washington DC Law

Under D.C. Code §22-217, individuals commit the criminal offense of bribery if they engage in the following actions:

  • Corruptly offering, giving, or agreeing to give anything of value to a public servant
  • Corruptly soliciting, demanding, accepting, or agreeing to accept anything of value, as a public servant

Additionally, the actions described above must be in return for an agreement or understanding that the public servant will be influenced in some way, violate an official duty, or assist in committing fraud against the District of Columbia. These actions violate the law whether they are done directly or indirectly and whether the public servant is on either side of the transaction involved in the bribery.

The term “public servant” refers to any officer, employee, or other person authorized to act for or on behalf of the D.C. government, including those who are elected, nominated, or appointed to act as public servants or jurors. For more information about bribery laws, consult with a Washington DC bribery attorney.

Bribery of a Witness

Bribery of a witness, as defined by Code §22-713, occurs when individuals corruptly, offer, give, or agree to give to another person, or corruptly solicit, demand, accept, or agree to accept from another person, anything of value to actual or potential witnesses.

These actions must be in exchange for an agreement or understanding that the witnesses will be influenced in their testimony in official proceedings before any DC court or government agency or department, or that they will not appear at such proceedings.

The statute specifically excludes, however, lawful witness fees, reasonable travel fees, compensation for lost time incurred by appearing in a proceeding, or fees for a professional witness to prepare an opinion, appear, and testify.

A skilled attorney could further help a Washington DC resident accused of witness bribery ensure that their rights are protected and their best interests are prioritized.

What are the Penalties for Bribery?

Pursuant to D.C. Code §22-3571.01, individuals who are convicted of bribery can face a fine of $25,000 or twice the monetary amount of the thing of value involved in the bribery, whichever is greater, a sentence of imprisonment of up to 10 years, or both.

If individuals are convicted of bribery of a witness, they can face a fine of up to $12,500 or twice the monetary amount of the thing of value involved in the bribery, whichever is greater, a sentence of imprisonment of up to five years, or both.

The penalties for bribery are severe, which is why it is essential for a defendant to reach out to a Washington DC bribery attorney who is capable of building a strong defense strategy.

The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act

Federal law also prohibits bribery pursuant to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), 15 U.S.C. §§78dd-1, et.seq. A FCPA violation may occur when individuals make, authorize, or promise a payment or anything of value to foreign officials for the purposes of influencing them in their official capacities, inducing them to violate their lawful duties, or securing an improper business advantage. A conviction for an FCPA violation can result in a federal prison sentence of up to five years. A Washington DC attorney could help someone accused of bribery through every part of their case.

Call a Washington DC Bribery Attorney Now

Whether you are facing federal or DC bribery charges, the stakes undoubtedly will be high and the media attention is likely to be significant. You may be able to better manage the situation with the assistance and guidance of a Washington DC bribery lawyer. Working with a seasoned defense attorney can be key to resolving your case in the most positive manner possible. Call our office now to learn more.