Common Forms of Bribery in DC
Bribery is a serious offense that could sometimes lead to federal charges, which in turn, could have serious penalties for an individual. That is why if you have been charged with a bribery offense, it is imperative that you speak with an attorney. An experienced legal advocate could build a solid defense for you.If you want to know more about common forms of bribery in DC, speak with a distinguished bribery attorney.
Influencing Public Servants
One of the common forms of bribery in DC is when individuals try to influence public servants who are inspectors of the different agencies of the District of Columbia. For example, daycare centers, restaurants, or some form of establishment. The government monitors those situations to see if any money or other things of value is exchanged to get a favorable ruling or a favorable inspection result.
It might be one of the most common types of bribery in the District of Columbia. The District has its own city government and is the seat of the federal government. The United States Attorney’s Office investigates allegations of bribery at the local and federal levels. They prosecute in the local and federal courts.
What Constitutes Extortion?
Under the D.C. Criminal Code, extortion occurs when a person obtains or attempts to obtain the property of another individual with their consent. It is not a situation of theft. The other individual agreed to give that person the property. However, they agreed because it was induced by the wrongful use of actual or threatened force or violence, or by wrongful threat of economic injury. It could also be that a person obtains or attempts to obtain property of another with the other’s consent obtained under pretense of official right. In layman’s terms, extortion is threatening to use physical force or violence or to cause economic injury if the person does not agree to give the individual some form of property. Most often, it is money, but it does not have to be money. Extortion is one of the common forms of bribery in DC.
Difference Between Bribery and Extortion
When someone tries to bribe a public official, they want the public official to make a decision to their benefit or to someone’s benefit, take some action, or refrain from taking some action that would benefit the person. The person wants an individual in a position of authority or power to take some action or not take some action in exchange for something of value.
For example, a person could bribe a zoning official to make a zoning ruling that would benefit the person’s company that is trying to erect a townhouse development and there are zoning variants. The person gives money to someone on the zoning board to provide a favorable ruling. That is a classic form of bribery. Bribery also covers the public servant. In this case, that is the member of the zoning board who agreed to accept money in exchange for their decision on an important matter in their official duty.
Extortion is where someone forces another person to agree to give them something of value by threatening them physically or threatening to harm them economically. The person’s consent is forced. In bribery, the person does not force consent; the person offers someone a thing of value to make a corrupt act. In extortion, the person forces someone to pay them or else the person will harm them in some fashion.
Common Forms of Extortion
Extortion can be a situation where someone discovers embarrassing information about an individual a company and they threaten to take that information public to cause economic harm to the individual or company unless they are paid. That is a common type of extortion. At the individual level, threatening to harm someone unless they give the person their jacket is robbery. When a person goes up to someone and threatens to take their property, that is robbery. When the person threatens harm to someone if they do not get their jacket and give it to the person, that is extortion.
Importance of a DC Bribery Attorney
Bribery, extortion or both are serious felonies with up to a decade in prison for a conviction. An experienced criminal defense lawyer who handles bribery and extortion cases knows what evidence to look for and how to challenge that evidence. They may have experience defending some of the more common forms of bribery in DC and could advise you on your options. An attorney could help you prepare your defense and negotiate with the government to get the best result for your case.
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