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Prosecution of Federal Bribery Charges in Virginia

If someone is charged with the federal bribery statute, they are prosecuted by the United States Attorney in whatever jurisdiction the person is charged in. That office has many prosecutors at its discretion and seemingly endless resources to prosecute an offense committed by an individual.

Anyone charged with a federal bribery statute must understand that they will be vigorously prosecuted by extraordinarily skilled prosecutors. To defend against such charges, you need a knowledgeable federal bribery lawyer with experience in fights like this to help them amass whatever defenses may be available.

Burden of Proof

One of the key elements in the prosecution of federal bribery charges in Virginia that prosecutors must prove beyond a reasonable doubt is that there was an exchange of something of value given to a person in a position of authority. That exchange must be done with the expectation that a favor will be awarded to the person who gave the thing of value.

The prosecutors must prove that a thing of value was given with the expectation of a favor that the person could provide only by virtue of their position of authority within the government.

Gathering Evidence

The first thing officials will look for when prosecuting a federal bribery charge in Virginia is the money or the thing of value. The prosecutor will want to know where the money came from, who paid for it, and who received it. If they cannot prove that something of value was exchanged, such as the gift and the receipt, they have no case.

The prosecution during a Virginia federal bribery case must also provide evidence that an exchange took place with the expectation of something being delivered. Sometimes, that evidence is circumstantial. For example, Joe takes Bob on an elite hunting trip to the Rocky Mountains and a week later, Joe’s contracting permit is awarded a multi-million dollar contract from Bob’s agency.

Sometimes the government asks the jury to read between the lines. In some cases, they might have proof such as text messages, e-mails, or something of that nature that speaks loosely about the deal in place without coming right out and saying it. In other cases, people may put their plans in writing in a way that can be seized by the government. The legal term for these acts is the intent to influence.

Charge of Conspiracy

Conspiracy is a charge in which two or more people agree to commit a crime. The only element that must be proven is that they agreed to do it. The prosecution during a Virginia federal bribery charge involving conspiracy does not have to prove that the crime was completed.

Someone can be charged with conspiracy even if they back out voluntarily. If someone agrees to commit a crime and takes the substantial steps to commit the crime without fully completing it, they can still be convicted of conspiracy.

There are not many cases where the only charge is conspiracy to commit a bribe. Generally speaking, the prosecutors charge conspiracy along with the actual bribery. The prosecution for the bribery might fail because the crime was not completed or the prosecution cannot prove beyond a reasonable doubt it was a complete crime. If there was the agreement to complete the crime and the court can prove that beyond a reasonable doubt when prosecuting a Virginia federal bribery charge, they can get a conviction of conspiracy.

Investigative Process

Federal bribery cases in Virginia are vigorously investigated. The United States Attorney’s Office is of the opinion that public trust and preserving public trust and government function is one of the most important targets. Therefore, they treat these procurement bribery cases and other bribery cases extremely seriously.

When prosecuting a federal bribery charge in Virginia, officials look for someone in a position of authority in any government agency who used that influence to achieve some sort of personal gain such as financial, travel, or something else, and in exchange for that asset, uses their influence to help the person who provided the personal gain. Those are the key aspects of any bribery case. When prosecutors discover this kind of situation, they investigate and prosecute if warranted.

Often, bribery cases involve public officials who are already in the public spotlight. Whenever there is an official already in the spotlight who is charged with a bribery case, it becomes a huge story for the media.

Benefit of an Attorney

Virginia federal bribery attorneys help someone being prosecuted for these charges by determining if the government can prove that a thing of value was exchanged with the intent to influence the government. Any evidence that establishes that gifts were given or money was exchanged for other purposes is especially relevant to any defense.

The element of intent is everything in bribery cases. Often, the only way the government can prove intent is by circumstantial evidence. If the defense attorney can identify circumstantial evidence that contradicts the government’s theory of the case, that is most helpful going into trial.