Anne Arundel Bribery Lawyer

Bribery is typically classified as a white-collar crime because it most often implicates political officeholders, public officials, and other professionals. Although bribery crimes under Maryland law are misdemeanors, they still carry minimum sentences of incarceration and high fines.

Contacting an Anne Arundel bribery lawyer could be the first step toward clearing your name from accusations of bribery. If you have been charged with a bribery offense, call a well-established fraud attorney today.

Bribery Crimes and Penalties

Bribery occurs when one individual exchanges something of value with another party who can offer illegal help or an illegal benefit of some kind to the individual. Both parties to the bribe have committed a criminal offense under Maryland law, whether they are receiving or offering the bribe.

There are several varieties of bribery under Maryland law, including bribery of a public official, bribery of a juror, bribery of a voter, or bribery in athletic contests.

Bribery of a Public Official

Maryland Code §9-201 sets forth the criminal offense of bribery of a public official. Under this code section, it is illegal for individuals to bribe or attempt to bribe public employees to influence them in the performance of their official duties. Likewise, it is illegal for public officials to demand or receive a bribe designed to influence the performance or induce the non-performance of official duties. Public officials include the following:

  • Executive officers of the state
  • Judges or judicial officers of the state
  • Members or officers of the General Assembly
  • Members of the police force of the county or the Department of State Police
  • Members, officers, or executive officers of a political subdivision

To prove a case for bribery, the prosecution must prove that individuals actually intended for the thing of value being used in the bribe to influence public officials in the performance of their public duties. The bribe has to be intended to target the public official’s specific action or inaction with respect to an official duty. However, the thing of value does not actually need to change hands, so long the ability to produce the thing of value is clear.

Bribery is a misdemeanor under Maryland law, however, the punishment for bribery is much more severe than for other misdemeanors. A conviction for bribery can result in two to 12 years of incarceration and a fine ranging from $100 to $5,000.

Additionally, individuals with bribery convictions are prohibited from voting or holding an office of trust or profit in the state of Maryland. Given the potentially serious nature of bribery charges involving a public official, contacting an Anne Arundel bribery attorney may help you launch a strong defense against these charges.

Bribing a Juror

The next section of Maryland Code that deals with bribery is §9-202, which prohibits bribery of a juror. This offense involves bribing or attempting to bribe a juror so as to influence the outcome of a verdict following a trial. Bribery of a juror also is a misdemeanor offense that carries a punishment of incarceration ranging from 18 months to six years and the inability to serve on a jury in the future.

Bribery of a Voter

Under §9-203, it is illegal for individuals, including candidates for public office, to give or directly or indirectly promise a gift or reward to secure a vote or ballot at an election under the Constitution and laws of the State. Furthermore, this section prohibits individuals from keeping or allowing to be kept a house or other location in the state on Election Day where, before the election is over, they pay to provide gratuitous alcohol beverages to voters. A violation of this criminal offense also is a misdemeanor, with a penalty of incarceration not to exceed six months in duration or a fine not to exceed $500, or both.

Bribery in Athletic Contests

Maryland law provides that individuals may not bribe or attempt to bribe others who are participating in or connected with an athletic contest held in the state. This violation, too, is a misdemeanor in Maryland, which can result in a sentence of imprisonment lasting from a minimum of six months to a maximum of three years, and/or a fine ranging from $100 to $5,000. The penalties for this type of bribe is serious, therefore, it is important for a defendant to obtain the services of an Anne Arundel bribery lawyer.

Get Legal Help from an Anne Arundel Bribery Attorney

If you have been charged with bribery or a related criminal offense in the state of Maryland, you may be at risk for serious sanctions. These cases often are very high-profile, especially if you are a public official or your case involves a public official.

Seeking an advice from an Anne Arundel bribery lawyer could be an essential stop on the road to resolving these charges in as positive a manner as possible.