Prince William County Bribery Lawyer

Bribery exists in many forms. The most common example is giving or offering a public figure something of monetary value in exchange for influence. However, it is also illegal for any person to attempt to bribe an athlete, juror, or witness. In all of these cases, a prosecutor needs to prove that a gift was paired with the intent to influence a choice or an action.

A Prince William County bribery lawyer may be able to help individuals facing these charges. This includes defendants who have been accused of giving, offering, or receiving a bribe. If you have been accused of corruption, contacting a skilled defense attorney early in your case could be beneficial.

Commonwealth Law Makes It Illegal to Bribe a Variety of People

Bribery in Prince William County encompasses a wide selection of statutes, including Code of Virginia §18.2-438. This statute says that it is a Class 4 felony for any person to give or attempt to give a bribe to an elected official or candidate for elected office. As a Class 4 felony, the punishments upon conviction can include a prison sentence of two to ten years.

However, elected officials are not the only parties to whom it is illegal to give a bribe. Other statutes that prohibit this behavior include:

  • Bribes to prevent service of process, a Class 2 misdemeanor under Code. Ann. §18.2-440
  • Bribery of witnesses, a Class 6 felony under Va. Code. Ann. §18.2-441.1
  • Bribery of participants in sporting events or contests, a Class 5 felony under Code. Ann. §18.2-442

Similarly, it is illegal for any person who may be offered a bribe to solicit or accept these payments or gifts. A local lawyer could help explain the elements of a bribery charge and develop a defense strategy to contest them in court.

Intent is Crucial to Bribery Allegations

According to Virginia law, bribery is a crime of corruption. The public deserves to know that elected officials and participants in the justice system are acting of their own accord.

The law also does not want to discourage people from building honest relationships with public servants, nor does it want to discourage gifts that do not carry a corrupting intent. As a result, a prosecutor in any bribery case, whether it involves giving a bribe or receiving one, must prove that there was a corrupting intent behind the gift.

It follows that certain types of evidence can be powerful in bribery cases. Recordings of phone calls, text message records, and copies of emails may all be evidence that a prosecutor could use to prove intent in a bribery charge. A nearby bribery attorney could try to limit the impact of these forms of evidence and argue that law enforcement’s methods violated a defendant’s Constitutional rights.

A Prince William County Bribery Attorney May be Able to Help

Facing charges of bribery can leave many people frightened and intimidated. They may not initially understand how giving or receiving a gift could have potentially violated Virginia law. Law enforcement keeps a close eye on gifts and cash moving between people in public office and other citizens, so it is not uncommon for an arrest and prosecution to arise out of what may have been a simple misunderstanding.

A Prince William County bribery attorney could help protect your freedom and reputation. They could thoroughly explain what the bribery laws mean, identify your goals, and work to make those goals a reality. By appearing by your side in court, a local lawyer could help you achieve the outcome you want for your case. Contact an attorney today to schedule an appointment.