Bribery and other forms of public corruption are treated seriously by law enforcement in Hennepin County, and a conviction can carry severe consequences. The crime of bribery occurs when a person offers, gives, or promises to provide something of value in exchange for a beneficial action or outcome.
State law prohibits three categories of bribes: those involving government officials, those involving the sports and entertainment industries, and those involving private businesses. If you are accused of this offense, an experienced Hennepin County bribery lawyer could evaluate your case and determine the best defenses for your case. With help from a dedicated attorney, you could increase your chance of a positive resolution.
Bribery Charges Involving a Government Official
Under Minnesota Statute Sec. 609.42, the following acts may result in up to 10 years’ imprisonment and $20,000 in fines upon conviction:
- Offering, giving, or promising to provide a benefit, consideration, or reward to a public officer to influence their performance of duties within the scope of their position
- As a public official, accepting, requesting, or agreeing to receive a benefit, consideration, or reward with the implicit knowledge that it will influence official behavior
- Offering, giving, or promising to provide a benefit, consideration, or reward to a witness in a judicial proceeding to influence their testimony or prevent them from testifying
- As someone who is or is expected to be a witness in a judicial proceeding, accepting, requesting, or agreeing to receive a benefit, reward, or consideration with the implicit knowledge that it will influence or prevent testimony
- Accepting a benefit, consideration, or reward in exchange for not giving information about a crime
Any public officer who is convicted of bribery is required by law to forfeit their current position. A conviction also disqualifies the individual from holding public office within the state of Minnesota in the future. An experienced attorney in Hennepin County could help someone accused of this kind of bribery evaluate the specifics of their case to determine how to plead.
Bribery in Sports and Entertainment
Minnesota Statute Sec. 609.825 applies to bribes involving contest judges, umpires, officiators, referees, contest participants, or anyone else who is designated to officially render decisions regarding the outcome of a contest.
Under this law, it is illegal to offer, agree to provide, or provide any benefit to an individual with the ability to affect the outcome of a contest, or to accept, agree to accept, or request such a benefit.
Those convicted of this type of bribery may face up to five years’ imprisonment and up to a $10,000 fine. Additionally, an individual who is offered a benefit to influence their behavior in this way must report the conduct to their superior or a county attorney. An individual in this situation should speak with a bribery attorney in Hennepin County, as failure to report a potential bribe in this context is punishable by up to one year in jail and up to a $3,000 fine.
Commercial Bribery Acts
Commercial bribery is governed by Minnesota Statute Sec 609.86. It applies when someone corruptly offers any benefit to an employee, agent, or fiduciary in an attempt to influence that person’s performance in a corporate capacity. It also applies to the employee, agent, or fiduciary who accepts the bribe.
The penalty for commercial bribery when the value of the benefit exceeds $500 is up to five years’ imprisonment and up to a $10,000 fine. If the benefit is $500 or less, the penalty is up to 90 days in jail or up to $1,000 in fines. It is important to note that multiple bribery acts may be prosecuted together if they occurred within the same six-month period, and the total value would be aggregated. A Hennepin County lawyer with experience in bribery cases could guide the accused on the appropriate actions to take.
Let a Knowledgeable Hennepin County Bribery Attorney Take on Your Case
Bribery accusations can be damaging to those charged, both personally and professionally. They can end a political career, terminate one’s ability to perform in a public service role, and lead to hefty fines and possible jail time.
Because of the potentially devastating effects of a conviction, an accused person should consider seeking representation from a Hennepin County bribery lawyer. Call today to set up an initial consultation.