Sometimes, the nature of a person’s relationship to a public official becomes complicated, and could lead others to question if that relationship is entirely legal. In some cases, dealings between public officials and others may get the attention of law enforcement, and could even lead to bribery charges if the agency investigating the matter believes that it has evidence to support federal bribery charges.
Federal bribery charges are not something to be taken lightly in any circumstances. If you recently received these bribery charges, or if you suspect some agency or another is investigating you about a potential bribery charge, you must take great care in how you move forward.
Depending on how you respond to these allegations or behave now that you suspect an investigation, you may improve your defense or cripple it.
One of the wisest things you can do is calmly, quietly go speak with an experienced defense attorney. Your attorney can look at your circumstances with an objective perspective and work with you to build a strong defense using every available tool, protecting your rights and your reputation.
Components of a bribery charge
The federal government uses a number of standards to build a bribery case. In order for a federal charge to move forward, it usually must satisfy these standards before it proceeds
- A public official receives an offer of a bribe, including many low-level government employees
- The offer specifies it can deliver something valuable, like a promise of money or a threat of harm
- The offer seeks to influence some specific official act
- The public official receiving the offer has the ability to influence or even commit this official act
- The party making the offer wants to create a specific outcome
The prosecution may also have to demonstrate that a bribe succeeded in achieving the desired result. An experienced attorney can help you look for weaknesses in the prosecution’s case against you and explore other defenses.
Be mindful of your behavior
You must keep in mind that you yourself are one of the biggest threats to your own future. In many cases, the thing that really closes the door on a defendant’s case is one’s own “guilty” behavior. It is sometimes the attempt to cover up a mistake rather than the actual mistake that leads to a conviction.
Be especially mindful of the things you say about the matter. If authorities show up at your home or work, you do not have to explain the matter to them. You can simply say that you wish to speak with your attorney before discussing it. Even your conversations with friends or family members may become evidence against you.
It is wise to simply remain calm and seek strong, discreet guidance on building your defense.