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Misconduct Enhancement in DC Federal Bribery Cases

Certain enhancements may significantly lengthen a defendant’s sentence in a federal bribery case. The defendant’s status as a public official, the total value of the bribe, and a variety of other variables may all contribute to a longer period of incarceration or a higher fine.

An experienced bribery attorney may be able to mitigate the effects of a misconduct enhancement in DC federal bribery cases. If you are facing charges, consider reaching out to a criminal defense lawyer for legal aid.

How Sentencing Works in a Federal Bribery Case

The United States Federal Sentencing Guidelines provide enhancements to penalties under certain circumstances. The purpose of the guidelines is to take two factors, the defendant’s criminal history and the offense level, and create a relatively uniform sentencing requirement. In combination, the two factors yield an advisory range that a judge under the law is required to establish before pronouncing a sentence.

In DC federal bribery cases, one of the possible misconduct enhancements is related to whether the person who was determined to have accepted a bribe is a public official. If they are, significant enhancements might apply.

How Does a Defendant’s Role in a Bribery Offense Influence Enhancements?

When the sentencing guideline range is high and the defendant’s role is minimal, there may be an option for a lower sentence in a DC bribery case. A judge may find that a person had a small role in a bribe, made little money from the bribe, or did not take many criminal actions in a particular case. As a result, the judge might determine that the actual guidelines range should be lower and, therefore, the sentence should be lower.

There is also an opportunity to provide letters of support from family members, work colleagues, teachers, and employers that speak to the character of a defendant. Such testimony may allow a judge to grant a sentence beyond the lower limits of a specific sentencing guideline.

Minimizing a Misconduct Enhancement

To minimize misconduct enhancements in federal bribery cases, it could be essential that a defendant’s DC lawyer has a detailed knowledge of the facts of the case. Sometimes, a case involves an accused individual who received a stream of benefits, such as tickets, gifts, or cash as a bribe on a contract. This stream of benefits may be greater than the value of the contract. Under such circumstances, calculating the value of the bribe may be especially difficult.

Similarly, the issue of whether someone is deemed a public official has been litigated extensively over the years. Depending on the nature of the person’s job, their duties, and their sphere of influence, that might be an area where a defense lawyer could prevent their client from being deemed a public official under the guidelines and avoid a stiff enhancement. Essentially, it is the attorney’s responsibility to do detailed work on the specifics of a case and use any possible leverage to reduce a sentence.

The Importance of an Experienced Bribery Lawyer

When an individual is charged with bribery, they should consult with a lawyer who is experienced and fully understands the law. Bribery cases are complicated, and a great deal of evidence is involved.

It is not always possible to achieve ideal results in the case by dismissal or acquittal. When a defendant is convicted and facing a sentence, they need an attorney who understands what steps to take to mitigate a misconduct enhancement in a DC federal bribery case and reduce the severity of the defendant’s sentence.

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