Bribery is a serious criminal offense that can result in damaging consequences such as steep fines and potential jail time. A conviction for this offense could upend your life, so it may be essential to contact a Minnesota bribery lawyer for help if you are accused of offering or accepting a bribe. An experienced attorney could explain the nuances of your charges and provide you with the best chance of achieving a successful case resolution.

Criminal Definition of Bribery

Instances of bribery typically involve two main parties: the person making the bribe and the person who receives or requests it. Bribery is generally defined as giving, offering, or promising to give another person a benefit or money to influence their actions. Under Minnesota Statute §609.42, those who can be guilty of bribery include:

  • Public officials
  • Witnesses in a court case
  • Individuals with information about a crime
  • Prosecutors

A conviction of bribery can result in up to ten years in jail and a fine of up to $20,000. Additionally, public officials convicted of bribery or attempted bribery must forfeit their positions and may never hold public office in the state again. For help avoiding these penalties, contact a Minnesota bribery attorney.

Commercial and Contest Bribery

Bribery is not limited to the actions of individuals and can occur in several settings. For example, a person can commit bribery within a private business and during a public contest. A Minnesota attorney could help a defendant charged with bribery in either situation.

Commercial Bribery

Commercial bribery occurs when a private business is involved in the bribery. This bribery occurs when an individual offers or gives any benefit, including money or a reward, to an employee, agent, or a person’s fiduciary with the intent to influence the performance of their duties. As with individuals, those who request this kind of benefit from a business are also guilty of bribery.

Commercial bribery can involve kickbacks or illegal referral fees. Any illegal payment or reward given to achieve a benefit for a business is considered bribery.

Bribery Within a Contest

Bribery within a contest is unique because it applies only to sports and entertainment. When a benefit is given to another person to influence their performance, those involved in the act can be charged with bribery. Bribery in a contest setting can involve a participant, manager, director, or official in the sporting or entertainment event.

Those who offer the benefit or request the benefit in exchange for their performance are guilty of bribery. Bribery in the sports and entertainment industries is often utilized in connection with gambling.

Common Types of Bribes

Bribery covers all behavior involving paying or providing a benefit to a public official in exchange for influence. The following circumstances could be considered examples of bribery:

  • Paying a public official for a construction permit
  • Paying judges for favorable rulings
  • Bribing police officers
  • Bribing foreign officials
  • Paying athletes or referees to fix the outcome of a game

Regardless of the form of bribery, the defendant in these cases face serious consequences. A Minnesota bribery attorney could help someone accused of offering or taking a bribe achieve the best result possible in their case.

Reach Out to a Minnesota Bribery Attorney for Legal Assistance

Bribery is a serious charge that carries potentially life-altering consequences, and it can be difficult to go through the legal process of fighting a bribery charge without qualified legal representation. If you are facing these charges, you should contact a Minnesota bribery lawyer immediately. An experienced attorney could help you present the best defense at trial. Call today to schedule a consultation.