You Need New York City Attorneys That Will Aggressively Work On Your Side to Clear Your Bribery Charge
What is Bribery?
Bribery is a serious felony offense that is illegal under both state and federal law. Bribery charges can result from either the acceptance of a bribe or from an attempt to bribe someone else. Regardless of your role in an alleged bribery, you could be facing serious criminal penalties, including jail time .
If you have been accused of bribery, you should retain legal counsel immediately. Even if you haven’t been formally charged yet, it is never too early to have a discussion with an attorney about your rights and your legal options. Citizens and businesses who are charged with bribery need legal representation by a New York criminal defense attorney who has experience arguing in court and settling cases.
Bukh Law Firm is comprised of experienced defense attorneys who will represent you vigorously in your criminal trial. Our attorneys have handled bribery cases, and we understand the challenges that bribery defendants face as they go through the criminal process. Call us today to learn how we can help.
Is Brivery Illegal? What You To Do If You Have Been Charged
Bribery involves offering or giving something of value, or soliciting or receiving something of value, in order to gain or offer an illicit advantage.
A bribe may be offered to a public official within the United States; to a private company; to a private individual; or to foreign officials. All of these different types of bribery can be classified as criminal acts by state, federal, or international law.
Federal laws impose a blanket ban on bribery and graft involving public officials. 18 U.S. Code Section Chapter 11 prohibits a wide variety of different bribery offenses involving any government employees and/or elected representatives. Other federal laws and regulations address certain specific types of bribery not involving government workers such as Section 205 of the Federal Alcohol Administration Act, which prohibits bribery of trade buyers of alcohol.
The federal government does not have a general statute prohibiting all types of commercial bribery among private business entities. New York, however, does have laws related to bribery not involving public servants. These laws are found in Article 180 of the Penal Code.
The federal government also addresses the bribing of certain individuals. For example, bribery of a witness, a bank employee, or a sporting official such as a referee can all result in federal criminal charges.
Finally, bribery in international business is widely prohibited in most situations. The OECD Anti-Bribery Convention prohibits bribing foreign officials with the aim of subjecting countries to the same criminal standards in relation to bribery laws. Prior to the 1997 OECD Convention, the United States was alone among the OECD countries in prohibiting companies from trying to use bribes to gain an unfair advantage.
While OECD Countries now all prohibit bribery, the United States still has one of the broadest and most widely enforced anti-bribery laws. The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) prohibits bribery not just for companies based in the U.S., but also for companies organized under U.S. law; for companies with a principal place of business in the U.S.; for companies that act within U.S. territories; and for companies that are listed on the U.S. stock exchange.
Types of Bribery
Prohibited bribery can take many forms. One of the most common types is an illegal kickback. A kickback means that money or items of value are paid to someone in exchange for appointment to public office or in exchange for facilitating some type of transaction. Examples include:
- A pharmaceutical sales rep offering a doctor a free trip for prescribing a medication
- A contractor offering money to a politician in exchange for being awarded a government bid
- A businessman offering a public employee money or gifts in exchange for being given a position in local, state, or federal government
Other types of bribery can occur including giving a witness something of value in exchange for telling a lie on the stand; giving a judge money to issue a certain ruling; and giving something of value to any public officials so they will cut through red tape and make doing business easier.
There are a huge number of different types of bribery, and it is important to understand exactly what offense you are being accused of if you are charged with a bribery crime. A prosecutor has the burden of proving that a given transaction or exchange was an example of bribery.
Your New York City criminal defense lawyer may be able to call into question whether the actions that took place actually fit within the legal definition of a prohibited bribe.
Arkady Bukh has a long track record of representing clients accused of serious federal and state crimes in NYC TOP RATED ON:
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Top Rated Criminal Lawyer
Arkady Bukh has a long track record of representing clients accused of serious federal and state crimes in NYC
TOP RATED ON: SUPER LAWYERS, AVVO, NATIONAL TRIAL LAWYERS
Bribery in Business or Commercial Bribery
The federal government has been aggressive in prohibiting bribery of both national and international government officials in order to get business or to make doing business easier. However, there is less focus on what happens when bribery occurs among private entities.
Commercial bribery, or bribery in business, can occur when an employee or agent of a company acts in his or her own best interests instead of the employer’s interests. For example, a purchasing agent may be offered a kickback or cash gift in exchange for choosing one supplier over the other.
New York Penal Law section 180.00 defines the offense of commercial bribing in the second degree. This is defined as conferring, or offering or agreeing to confer, benefits on a company employee in order to influence the employee’s actions without the consent of the employer. Anyone who acts as an agent of the company, or who has a fiduciary duty to the company, could potentially be susceptible to a bribe that would make him act in his own interests instead of the employers. Offering a bribe to a fiduciary, agent, or employee is a Class A misdemeanor under New York law.
If the value of the benefits that is conferred upon the company employee exceeds $1,000 and the damage to the employer exceeds $250, commercial bribery in New York rises to a Class E felony. This felony offense of first degree commercial bribing is defined in Code Section 180.03.
While Sections 180.00 and 180.03 prohibit the offering of a bribe, Sections 180.05 and 180.08 of the New York Penal Code prohibit the employee or agent from receiving the bribe. The crime of receiving a bribe could also be charged as either a Class A misdemeanor or a Class E felony depending upon the value of the bribe and the potential loss to the employer.
Bribery in International Business
The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act has very broad anti-bribery provisions that can apply to almost any business under the territorial jurisdiction of the United States. The Act prohibits the exchange of money and gifts in order to assist in obtaining or retaining business.
All publicly traded companies are required to keep records of business transactions in order to demonstrate that no violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act are occurring.
The Department of Justice also uses provisions of the Travel Act, as well as wire fraud laws, to prohibit bribery of foreign officials and governments. The Travel Act prohibits the use of any facilities of interstate or foreign commerce to participate in unlawful activities. Bribery is listed as one of the unlawful activities prohibited in 18 United States Code Section 1953(B). The government may take legal action under the Travel Act even for bribes that were not successful, as the key is whether the mail, postal service, wires or any facilities of commerce were used as part of the attempted bribery.
Punishment for Bribery
Punishment for corruption and bribery varies depending upon the nature of the bribery and the specific bribery law that was violated.
- Bribery of a public official can result in 15-years imprisonment as well as a fine of up to three times the value of the bribe.
- A witness who demands a bribe could be imprisoned for 15 years. The person who offers or pays the bribe could be sentenced to two years imprisonment.
- Bribery of an official in a major sporting event could result in five years imprisonment for the referee or other official.
The specific potential penalties for bribery offenses can vary significantly, so it is important to talk to a New York bribery lawyer for help understanding the potential consequences of being convicted of bribery. In many cases, if you do not want to try to go to court related to your bribery charges, your New York City bribery defense attorney can help you to negotiate a plea agreement. This may make it possible to get the charges reduced, or the prosecutor may agree to a more lenient sentence in exchange for the admission of guilt.
What You To Do If You Have Been Charged with Bribery
Proving bribery occurred can often be difficult for prosecutors, as most bribes are done covertly. The prosecutor has the legal burden of proving that a bribe was offered, solicited, paid or accepted. A Federal defense lawyer can try to make it difficult for the prosecutor to make a successful case against you.
Often, in bribery cases, there will be a great deal of weight placed on the testimony of witnesses or parties to the alleged crime. If your attorney does not have trial experience with cross examining witnesses and objecting to testimony, you could be at a serious disadvantage in your bribery trial. At Bukh Law Firm, we have the experience and the skills necessary to help you fight for a favorable outcome in your bribery case.
Our attorneys will help you to explore all possible defenses to a bribery charge, and will try to introduce reasonable doubt in trial. If the jury questions whether the prosecutor has successfully proved every element of the bribery case, you should be found not guilty.
Getting Help from a New York Defense Attorney When Charged with Bribery
If you have been accused or charged with bribery, you should contact an experienced criminal attorney as soon as possible. For many individuals, the idea of working within the criminal justice system can seem daunting. Any New York City criminal attorney handling a bribery case should have a successful track record in state and federal courts in order to prepare a defense that can withstand the demands and rigors of the federal justice system.
The sooner you have legal counsel, the better your chances for a favorable outcome. Remember, felony charges for bribery can result in serious, life-altering consequences. You need a criminal attorney who can protect your rights in the face of criminal prosecution by the government. The attorneys at Law Office of Bukh Law Firm, PLLC have successfully navigated the Federal courts and mitigated bribery charges for many clients.