Those accused of bribery face the risk of accruing severe legal penalties and other long-term consequences. Bribery claims could put an individual in danger of losing their job and freedom, if successfully convicted.

If you have been accused of committing bribery, you might benefit from the advice and counsel of a Mount Pleasant bribery lawyer. A seasoned criminal defense lawyer could help you understand the charges brought against you and develop a plan for your defense. Call today to learn how an attorney could help with your case.

What is Bribery?

Bribery occurs when one party offers or accepts something of value to another person with an influential status. A bribe could be in the form of something tangible, such as money or a gift, or intangible, such as a favor or an act. Federal and state laws have different ways of defining and prosecuting bribery crimes. At the federal level, bribery charges consist of a few key elements.

What Constitutes Federal Bribery?

For one, it is crucial that the bribed individual is regarded as a public official. A public official could be a federal employee, such as someone who works at the NSA, or an elected official, such as a Senator.

Another significant element is that something of value must be offered in exchange for an official act influenced by the bribe. However, the public official must possess adequate authority to commit the offense. For example, if someone attempted to bribe a city mayor to start a war with another country, that would be insufficient to support a federal bribery charge since a city mayor does not have the power to start a war.

The briber must also establish that they desire a specific, beneficial result from the bribery. The prosecution has the burden of proving beyond a reasonable doubt that there is a causal connection between the value offered and received and the official act carried out.

A Mount Pleasant bribery attorney could help those facing charges determine how to proceed with their defense.

Bribery Laws in Mount Pleasant

There are two South Carolina statutes relevant to bribery charges. The first is South Carolina Code of Laws §16-17-540. Under this statute, any person who corruptly gives, offers, or promises any gift or gratuity to a public agent, employee, or servant, with intent to influence their actions or the actions of their superiors, is guilty of bribery. A lawyer in Mount Pleasant might attempt to prove that the gift and official act were a mere coincidence, and therefore does not qualify under the definition of bribery.

Bribing in Sports

Another, more unique form of bribery, is codified under South Carolina §16-17-550 and prosecutes those who bribe athletes and athletic officials. Those who unlawfully bribe athletic players, managers, coaches, or referees could face felony charges punishable by up to ten years in prison.

Ways That a Mount Pleasant Bribery Attorney Could Help

Being accused of any crime can be an overwhelming experience. A bribery prosecution, in particular, could be detrimental to your career and your freedom. You do not have to deal with the case by yourself, though.

A Mount Pleasant bribery lawyer could help you stand up for your rights and build a strong defense using their knowledge of applicable laws. Call an attorney today to get started on your case.