DC Federal Bribery Lawyer

When someone allegedly offers a gift or payment to a member of Congress or another employee of the federal government, they may be charged with bribery. This can apply whether a person was the one who allegedly offered or accepted the bribe.

A DC federal bribery lawyer can help you understand the charges you are facing. Throughout the legal process, a well-versed federal criminal attorney can advocate on your behalf and work towards the best possible outcome in your case.

What is Federal Bribery?

Under federal law, bribery is giving something of value to any public official. Under federal law, bribery means to give or offer anything of value to a public official with the intent to influence an official act or get a public official to commit any type of fraud in the United States that will induce them to commit a crime or violate their official duties. The same federal bribery laws apply to a person offering or promising something to the public official that apply to the public official who allegedly received or solicited a bribe.

It is important to note that federal bribery laws are separate from the local bribery laws under the District of Columbia Code. The difference between the two is who is considered to be a public official and the possible penalties a person could face if they are convicted of bribery. Federal bribery charges can carry serious penalties including up to 15 years in prison and fines up to $250,000 or three times the amount of the bribe, whichever is greater. Because a person could face years in a federal prison for engaging in bribery, so it is very important to approach these situations carefully and with the help of a lawyer who has experience in federal bribery laws.

Who Can Be Charged in DC

As stated above, federal bribery laws criminalize bribery both for a public official who has received or solicited a bribe and for the non-public official who is alleged to have offered or given a bribe to the public official. Under federal law, a public official is defined as a member of Congress, a delegate, a resident commissioner, an officer or employee or person acting for or on behalf of the United States or any department agency or branch of the Government including the District of Columbia Government.

The person who is not the public official can be considered to be involved in a bribery scheme if they attempt to bribe the public official by giving, offering, or promising to give something of value to the public official to influence their official act. The prosecutor must be able to prove the quid pro quo, which means that there is a direct connection between proving the thing of value and attempting to receive an official act from the public official.

Bribery Vs. Giving Gifts

Federal law distinguishes a bribery scheme from an illegal gratuity based on the order in which the item of value is offered or provided to the public official. Providing something of value to a public official to influence their official acts will constitute bribery, meaning the offer of the item of value preceded the official act.

By contrast, an illegal gratuity is a gift offered or provided to a public official after that public official is already engaged in an official act. The difference could be subtle but important because, in an illegal gratuity scheme, the government does not need to prove that the public official engaged in the official act in order to receive the gratuity. Essentially, the prosecutors must prove that an individual provided the item of value as a result of a public official engaging in some official act.

Reach Out to a DC Federal Bribery Lawyer

Allegations of federal bribery are extremely serious. If you were accused of offering or accepting payment in exchange for an action, a DC federal bribery lawyer can help. Call today to learn more about your rights.