The realistic penalties for a federal bribery conviction depend on the United States Federal Sentencing Guidelines and how those are calculated in a particular case. One of the driving factors behind a potential sentence in a bribery case is the number of bribes. If there is more than one bribe, there is a potential two-point enhancement that bumps up someone’s sentencing guidelines.
The penalties also depend on the amount of money involved in the bribe. A greater amount of money may incur a greater potential sentence. Usually, when someone is convicted of bribery, there is potentially a substantial jail sentence.A DC federal public corruption and bribery lawyer can help you understand more completely the factors of your case as well as all of the mitigating and aggravating factors that may affect your case.
There are aggravating factors in a bribery case including the number of bribes, the amount of money involved, the type of official involved in taking or offering the bribe and in general, the nature and circumstances surrounding the topic.
For example, if someone is convicted of bribing another person to allow tainted pharmaceuticals to be marketed in a certain area, a judge is likely to treat that harshly because that carries a potential risk to ordinary people who might use those pharmaceuticals. That type of case is different from a bribery scheme that involves similar amounts of money but does not involve something that could be dangerous to others.
Whether a person charged with bribery is considered a flight risk or a danger to the public is determined on a case by case basis. Danger to the community is usually not something that is argued by a prosecutor when seeking detention in a bribery case.
However, sometimes prosecutors make the argument that a person is an economic danger to the community because of the nature and circumstances of the case in which the person is accused. Usually, the person has a documented prior history of financial crime and that is where that argument is made.
Flight risk depends on the nature and circumstances of the particular case and the characteristics of the person who is accused. Many times that comes down to a person’s immigration status.
A person who is a US citizen with no prior history of flight from prosecution or extensive contacts abroad presents a difficult flight risk argument for the government to make. However, if someone is not a US citizen, often that argument is made by prosecutors, particularly if a person does not have strong ties in the United States with family or property.
Common scenarios are often seen in the construction arena where someone is accused of offering a bribe to government officials to get favorable consideration on a construction bid.
Another situation where bribery is alleged is in government contracting situations where people are accused of offering bribes to get a particular government contract. For example, there are three vendors that are competing for a contract to supply all of the paper goods for a city government. Someone is accused of offering a bribe and when the bid process is revealed, it turns out that the person accused of offering the bribe was not the lowest bidder on a particular job.
Another typical scenario occurs when someone who represents or owns a company is accused of offering trips, vacations, sports tickets, or money to a government official in exchange for a quid pro quo-something specific in return that they should not be getting.