Bribery is committed any time an “official” directly or indirectly trades influence in his or her official duties for anything of value. An official can be just about anyone entrusted to oversee the public’s business. Assets need not even change hands. Just the promise of something of value for official misconduct is considered a bribe. Jurisdiction over most types of federal bribery cases lies with the FBI.

The Bureau investigates bribery of officials, bribery around federally-funded programs, bribery in sports, and in other areas. The U.S. Postal Service also has jurisdiction when it comes to bribery and use of the mail. Individuals found guilty of bribery face up to 15 years in prison as well as steep fines and possible civil action. As with many types of white-collar crime, if you are accused of bribery, the outcome of your case will depend upon a number of factors. A knowledgeable criminal defense attorney can help weigh those factors and develop a strategy for your defense, as well as challenge the charges and evidence against you from a well-grounded position.

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