Maryland Bribery Lawyer

Bribery is a significant and very tricky offense to dispute in Maryland. While people who have been accused of bribery can suffer a jail sentence and pay a fine if convicted, they are also likely to suffer much more from the collateral consequences of the offense. There are also unique aspects of a bribery charge that can make it difficult to defend against.

A Maryland bribery lawyer with experience defending individuals against accusations of bribery may be essential to have on your side if you have been charged with the offense. Their working knowledge of how bribery investigations develop could be the only way to predict what prosecutors are likely to do in your case, and may help you make the strongest defense you can make against the accusations being levied against you. Reach out to a seasoned attorney to begin your defense.

Bribery is a Misdemeanor Offense

While bribery is a misdemeanor offense in Maryland, it carries some of the harshest penalties available for misdemeanors. Under Maryland Criminal Code § 9-201, defendants who are convicted for bribery face between two and 12 years in jail, and a fine of between $1,000 and $10,000. This makes a conviction for bribery one of the worst types of misdemeanor on the books: Most misdemeanors in Maryland involve less than a year behind bars.

Collateral Consequences of a Bribery Conviction

In conjunction to the fines and jail sentence that come with a bribery conviction in Maryland, there are also numerous collateral consequences. These are repercussions of a bribery conviction that a defendant might be required to deal with for the rest of their life.

Two of these collateral consequences are mentioned in the statute that deals with bribery: Defendants who are convicted of bribery in Maryland lose their right to vote, and also become ineligible to hold an office of trust or profit with the state of Maryland.

Other collateral consequences are not made explicit in the statute. As a seasoned attorney could explain, people who have been convicted of bribery often find it difficult to return to their chosen profession in or surrounding the political realm. Defendants who worked as lobbyists before the accusation could find themselves blackballed by potential employers who might not want to hire someone with a prior offense of bribery.

These costly consequences of a conviction make it even more important to seek out the legal representation of a bribery attorney in Maryland.

Bribery Prosecutions and Witness Flipping

An important aspect of bribery investigations and charges is the potential for witnesses or suspects to “flip” on each other. Bribery law in Maryland prohibits both offering and receiving a bribe to alter a public officer’s official conduct. When bribery has been committed, there are two suspects – the person offering the bribe and the person receiving it.

While prosecutors know that they may be able to pursue either one or both of these suspects, they often have a preference over who they want to prosecute. This individual is typically the one who they think is more likely to have committed other offenses or have a higher profile.

To make this happen, prosecutors could make use of the explicit grant of immunity that the bribery statute offers to a suspect who “flips” on a co-defendant, complicating the work of defending against a bribery charge. Before speaking with the authorities, bribery defendants are recommended to consult Maryland attorney to learn their rights.

Call a Skilled Maryland Bribery Attorney

If you have been accused of offering or receiving a bribe in Maryland, the allegation can bring with it the chance of a significant jail term and steep fines and huge changes in your professional and political career. Beating the allegations by proving your innocence requires a skilled and tactful defense.

A Maryland bribery lawyer could bring those skills to the table, and may be able to use them to work on your behalf. Contact an attorney today to start planning the details of your defense.