People serving in positions of public service have a significant responsibility. Not only should they act in the best interests of those they serve, but they should also make their decisions based on nothing more than their own convictions. One set of laws that aims to uphold this standard is the state’s prohibition on the giving or receiving of bribes. It is against the law for any person to attempt to give a bribe to a public official, juror, or other person in charge of a public or legal duty. Similarly, it is illegal for people in these positions to accept these payments.
A Greenville bribery lawyer might be able to help you if you are facing these accusations. Our determined white-collar defense attorneys are prepared to explain the specific laws that control these cases, evaluate the evidence that the prosecutor intends to bring to trial, and develop a defense that helps protect your reputation and freedom. Call our firm today to learn more.
A simple concept under the law says that officials in the executive, legislative, or judicial branches of the government should make their decisions on the merits of the facts. While it is perfectly legitimate to attempt to sway these people through persuasion, it crosses the line to offer anything of value to another in an attempt to sway their vote, opinion, or actions.
South Carolina Code § 16-9-210 makes it a crime to attempt to influence a public official through a bribe. Under this statute, a person committing this crime may serve as long as five years in prison.
A similar offense covers the attempted bribery of jurors and arbitrators. Under SC Code § 16-9-260, these offenses are felonies with a five-year maximum prison term. A Greenville attorney could help people facing accusations of offering bribes by disputing the idea that a person offered a gift with the intent to change another’s actions.
Just as the law states that it is a crime to offer a bribe to a person of power, it is also a violation for these individuals to accept these payments. According to SC Code § 16-9-220, accepting a bribe is a felony.
Additionally, the law often places harsher penalties on officials who are convicted of accepting money or other incentives to sway their decisions. Convictions can result in prison sentences as long as ten years. The statute also says that a person convicted under this law can never again hold any public office anywhere in the state. A seasoned attorney in Greenville could help those facing accusations that they made decisions based on their receipt of a bribe.
Accusations that you have attempted to bribe a public official or juror or accepted a bribe while serving in a position of power are serious matters. Convictions under state law can result in multiple-year prison sentences, permanent damage to your reputation in the community, and an inability to serve in office again.
If you are facing these allegations, speak with a Greenville bribery lawyer today. Our firm is prepared to thoroughly investigate the details of your situation and prepare a solid defense to create reasonable doubt concerning the prosecutor’s case.