In the most literal sense, bribery is defined as the action of a person offering, giving, promising to give (by direct or indirect means), any reward, benefit or special consideration to influence another person. A person may also request a bribe, in this case defined as a request for any reward, benefit or special consideration in exchange for a favorable influence.
Bribery can apply to a wide range of individuals for accepting or offering bribes, such as:
In the legal world, bribery becomes a crime when it involves publicly elected officials or their employees when the bribe pertains to their job-related duties. It can also be a crime when it involves a witness that is or will be testifying in front of a hearing office or judge, if the bribe will later change the testimony of the witness or their presence at the proceeding. Bribery is usually determined by the impact on an official's professional duties.
In Minnesota, a bribery conviction will result in a sentence of no more than ten years in prison and a fine up to $20,000. If you are a public official convicted of bribery or attempted bribery, you are facing the serious risk of losing your job as well.
Other sentences depend on the circumstances of the bribe. If the result of the bribe concerns someone who governs, officiates, referees or otherwise has influence over the outcome of a contest (like an athletic event), the sentence is no more than five years in prison and a fine up to $10,000. There are also laws that govern your conduct should you be offered a bribe. If you are the target of a bribe and fail to inform your superior, you could face imprisonment up to one year and a fine up to $3,000.
Commercial bribery is legally similar, but concerns business conduct. If you attempt to influence the decision making of an employee or agent as it pertains to their decision making or performance of duty or you ask for a bribe from your superior or principle employer, the punishment is determine by the size of the bribe. In Minnesota, if you offer over $500, you could face as much as five years in prison and a fine up to $10,000. If the bribe is less than $500, you could face up to ninety days in prison and a fine up to $1,000.
Contact Brockton D. Hunter P.A. today: (612) 979-1112. Our Minneapolis criminal defense lawyers can help you fight your charges.