Public corruption involves a breach of the public trust. If someone is facing bribery charges, it is imperative that they consult a knowledgeable public corruption lawyer. There are several common Maryland Federal bribery charges that an individual could face depending on their situation.
If you are facing potential consequences and penalties of bribery charges, it is essential that you seek a dedicated attorney. They can review evidence and determine the best course of action.
Public corruption often involves bribery and kickbacks. Public corruption is when an officer or agent of the government, in the fulfillment of their public duties, is influenced by receiving some kind of benefit. In other words, when making a decision on a public policy or inspecting a restaurant for health code violations, rather than performing their public role, they give some benefit or look the other way in exchange for money, favors, or a gift. Public corruption is when an elected or appointed official works for the government and is involved in taking money or other benefits in exchange for altering the performance of their duties.
Common scenarios where bribery is alleged involve situations where an important decision is made. The DC metropolitan area has more investigations involving allegations of bribery than other locations because there are many federal agencies and federal employees in the area. It is the seat of federal government, there are many public officials in the DC area including Maryland for the purposes of the statute.
Common Maryland Federal bribery charges can happen when an employee or minor-level official agrees to make a decision or hold off on a decision in exchange for something of value less than $5,000. They do not make big national headlines because major public officials are scrutinized much more closely. In other words, it is not surprising in any given year to find out that a member of a federal agency agreed to hold off on taking an enforcement action against a company in exchange for a couple of dinners or something like that. It would be shocking if it is found that the Secretary of State did the same thing.
The most common situations where bribery is alleged are when a health inspector agrees to look the other way instead of shutting down a restaurant. The inspector takes a bribe or gratuity; in this case, a bribe and gives the restaurant a passing grade or agrees to come back in a couple of weeks to let them correct the violation. The official is acting corruptly in that situation.
There are many different businesses that are licensed and many different federal agencies that are at work. Inspectors include everyone from an elevator inspector up to the US Postmaster General. The most common scenarios are a low-dollar amount in exchange for looking the other way.
There are large numbers of federal contractors in the Washington, DC metropolitan area who provide services for a fee. Many times, the awarding of a contract to a business from the government is a make-or-break proposition for the business. In a situation like that where there is much to gain or lose based on decisions about who should get a contract and what aspects of the contract should a subcontractor get, those are areas with great potential for bribery.
Because bribery is much more than a gratuity, the penalty for bribery is 15 years. The maximum punishment for a bribery conviction in a federal criminal case is 15 years of imprisonment and the fine can be up to three times the monetary equivalent of the bribe. With illegal gratuity, the maximum penalty is two years of imprisonment. When comparing gratuity versus bribery, the big difference is in the maximum penalties for common Maryland Federal bribery charges. The penalty for a federal illegal gratuity conviction is up to two years in prison.