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Being accused of bribery could devastate your personal life, career, and reputation in the community. A conviction will create a criminal record that could permanently limit your opportunities for education, work, housing, and credit. Skillful handling of the situation requires a seasoned attorney.
Bribery charges often attract public notice, and media attention can complicate a defense. A Chandler bribery lawyer at Grand Canyon Law Group knows the public corruption laws and can pursue a robust defense, despite external distractions and pressure.
Bribery occurs when someone offers or accepts money or another favor in return for some benefit. The benefit could be a vote, approval, or even advance notice of a government decision. It could be a police officer not writing a speeding ticket in exchange for cash. Asking for a bribe is also a crime. A person accused of bribery might face state and federal charges.
Bribery charges often arise in public corruption cases that involve elected officials or political appointees. In some cases, bribery charges result from a workplace transaction, like a business offering a competitor’s key employee money for information or conduct detrimental to their employer.
Bribery charges could involve evidence from wiretaps or confidential informants. Law enforcement surveillance could raise complicated civil rights issues. Our Chandler bribery attorneys can investigate the source of the evidence against the defendant and challenge the methods used to obtain it.
Under Arizona Revised Statutes §13-2602, bribery involving public officials is a Class 4 felony. Commercial bribery can be either a felony or misdemeanor charge, depending on the extent of the employer’s losses due to the bribe.
A conviction for a Class 4 felony could lead to a prison sentence. The minimum sentence for a first offender is one and a half years, which could be reduced to one year with mitigating circumstances. If the prosecutor proves aggravating circumstances, the sentence could be as long as three years and nine months.
A defendant’s criminal record substantially affects the severity of a sentence. The minimum sentence with mitigating circumstances is two years and three months for someone with one prior conviction. A defendant with two or more prior felony convictions faces up to 15 years in prison. When the stakes are this high, those accused of bribery must work with an experienced local lawyer on a strong defense.
Public corruption investigations often require law enforcement to use electronic surveillance or informants to obtain evidence. Investigators also might examine bank records, tax returns, and similar documents to find proof of corruption.
Our bribery attorneys in Chandler could review the search warrant applications used to get permission to conduct intrusive surveillance and examine private records. A warrant might be defective if the application does not demonstrate probable cause or if less invasive methods would have yielded sufficient evidence. Similarly, our lawyers could determine whether officers stayed strictly within the limits the warrant established.
Any overreach in obtaining evidence could help the defense. A judge could exclude evidence law enforcement officers collected illegally. A savvy Chandler lawyer can challenge the sufficiency of the bribery evidence or argue that it is ambiguous. Sometimes, a prosecutor might be willing to negotiate if the accused has valuable information regarding a corruption scheme.
A bribery accusation could place your freedom, reputation, and professional future at risk. You need skillful legal representation to achieve the best possible results.
A Chandler bribery lawyer at our firm understands the high stakes and is prepared to represent you tirelessly. Call Grand Canyon Law Group as soon as possible to get started on your case.