DC Federal Public Corruption Lawyer
Public officials are supposed to act in the best interests of the people they represent. Their positions, however, may make them vulnerable to scrutiny and to unethical actions of those seeking favor in business dealings, contracts, or other matters. An accusation of accepting a bribe or other act of corruption can threaten an official’s reputation and political career, which is why if you are accused you should consult with a DC federal public corruption lawyer as soon as possible to assist in fighting your charges and clearing your name. A federal attorney in DC can help you in a number of ways beginning at the initial investigation and spanning all way until your case is complete. For information on what can be done to help your case, call today.
Federal Corruption Defense Process
There are a number of laws under which the federal government may prosecute allegations of public corruption. These laws address bribery, embezzlement, graft (or misappropriation of public funds), and other alleged abuses of power by an elected or appointed official.
A federal prosecutor has the burden of proving certain elements in order to obtain a conviction for bribery or other alleged acts of public corruption. A DC federal public corruption attorney can provide common defense strategies that may include:
- Challenging evidence of intent to influence
- Illustrating a lack of evidence of a “quid pro quo” relationship (a “this-for-that” agreement)
- Arguing that the person accused of public corruption is not, by definition, a public official, and therefore, charges are unwarranted
One of the most important things to remember about public corruption cases is that they normally involve lengthy investigations, multiple hearings, and a great many opportunities for an uninformed person to make a mistake when dealing with investigators or the prosecution. Working with an experienced federal defense attorney in DC is one way to help avoid making such errors.
Federal Public Corruption Laws
Perhaps the most common form of public corruption charges is bribery; 18 U.S.C § 201 defines bribery as the offer or receipt of anything of value in exchange for influencing an official act, committing an act of fraud, or violating one’s lawful public duty through act or omission.
In order for the prosecution to secure a conviction in a bribery case, it must prove:
- The offer (or acceptance) of something valuable, whether physical property, vacations, jobs, or status
- The intent of the offer to influence a public official’s actions
- A quid pro quo relationship
Federal bribery penalties include disqualification from office, a fine of up to three times the value of the bribe, and a maximum of 15 years in prison.
Often, a person accused of public corruption will also face conspiracy charges. Conspiracy, by definition, is a plan or agreement between two or more parties to commit a crime. Because bribery involves at least two parties—the one who offers the bribe and the one who accepts it—conspiracy charges are a natural complement to public corruption charges.
Under 18 U.S.C § 371, the maximum penalty for conspiracy is five years in prison.
Consult with an Experienced Federal Attorney
If you have been accused of or being investigated for public corruption, we can help you fight the allegations against you. Call today to schedule a free, confidential consultation with a DC federal public corruption lawyer at our firm.