In Michigan, “bribery”— offering, giving, or accepting a gift in exchange for an action or for influence over someone—is considered a state and federal crime. In fact, most bribery convictions in Michigan are charged as felonies, punishable by thousands of dollars in fines, extensive prison time, the loss of your job, and a permanent criminal record.
If you have been charged with bribery in Michigan, contact a Michigan bribery lawyer to make sure your rights are being protected every step of your case. An experienced defense attorney can help to build your defense to obtain a positive outcome in your case.
People often give or accept bribes for the purposes of getting a job, securing government or business contracts, covering up another crime, or gaining favorable treatment. A “bribe” can consist of anything that is considered valuable, such as:
One of the most serious bribery offenses Michigan bribery attorneys see is the bribery of public officials. Under Michigan Penal Code sections 750.117 and 750.118, it is a felony to give, offer, promise, or accept a thing of value to “influence the act, vote, opinion, decision, or judgment” of any government employee.
For example, offering cash to law enforcement officers to persuade them to stop investigating a crime they were involved in is considered bribery of public officials. Similarly, sending a gift to a judge in the hopes that they will give someone a favorable treatment in court is also considered bribery of a public official.
This type of crime is classed as a felony in Michigan. Giving or accepting a bribe can lead to $5,000 in fines and up to 10 years in prison. If a person accepts a bribe as a public official, they could also lose their job and be disqualified from holding public office in the future.
The right to trial by jury is a cornerstone of democracy in the United States. Compromising that—by bribing jury members in an effort to influence their verdict—is a federal crime, punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment and a $20,000 fine.
A person could also be facing up to four years in jail and a $5,000 fine for bribing other individuals who have decision-making power, such as:
Bribery does not just involve corrupt government officials. It can involve a wide range of different people and circumstances. For example, depending on the case, it is considered a misdemeanor or felony to bribe:
Penalties for bribery convictions in Michigan can range from one year in jail and a $1,000 fine to 15 years in prison and up to $25,000 in fines.
A Michigan bribery attorney can go over the facts of their client’s individual case and determine the kinds of penalties they may be facing, as well as work to have those penalties reduced.
Facing criminal charges can be frightening. A bribery conviction—whether for giving or receiving a bribe—can put your freedom, career, and reputation at stake.
Michigan bribery lawyers understand this and are dedicated to helping you get your life back on track. Contact today to find out how they can help defend your rights.