When you are under investigation or face charges for bribery, contact our seasoned criminal defense attorneys immediately. Bribery is a felony offense that could have far-reaching consequences, including prison time, stiff fines, loss of a professional license, and damage to your reputation.
A New River bribery lawyer from the Grand Canyon Law Group can listen to the details of your case and prepare a robust defense. Our experience as former prosecutors have helped hundreds of people in positions like yours handle things the right way and maximize their options for moving forward.
Bribery means offering some form of benefit in exchange for an action or result that would not have happened naturally, such as paying someone to sway their vote or providing money to a police officer to turn their head on illegal activity. The benefit a person offers could be money, a favor, information, or something else of value. Both offering and accepting a bribe are considered criminal acts. There are two specific bribery crimes listed under the Arizona statutes.
Arizona Statutes § 13-2605 defines commercial bribery as offering a benefit to an employee without their employer’s consent to induce the employee to act contrary to the employer’s interests, causing the employer to suffer an economic loss. An example would be a business offering a competitor’s employee money to provide information that would give the offeror a competitive advantage.
The crime could be a Class 1 misdemeanor if the employer lost less than $100. If the loss was between $100 and $1000, it is a Class 6 felony. Commercial bribery is a Class 5 felony if the employer loses more than $1000 due to the bribery scheme.
Bribery of a public servant means offering a public servant or party official a benefit in exchange for a vote, decision, advance information, or exercise of discretion. Arizona Statutes § 13-2602 defines a public servant as a government official or employee, and a party official is anyone who holds an elected or appointed job with a political party. This crime is a Class 4 felony. A New River attorney can help someone facing bribery charges understand and enforce their legal rights.
Bribery cases often result from police sting operations, particularly in cases involving public servants. In many instances, an undercover officer or informant might offer a bribe while wearing a recording device. Evidence in bribery cases also often includes financial records. However, law enforcement officials must obtain warrants to examine a suspect’s personal bank statements before making an arrest.
A New River defense attorney will examine the evidence the prosecution has against a person and question whether law enforcement followed proper procedures for obtaining it. If law enforcement officers were not scrupulous in observing a defendant’s rights, a judge might suppress the evidence they obtained illegally.
Additionally, a conviction for bribery requires the prosecutor to prove the accused acted with corrupt intent. Proof of intent is often circumstantial and open to several different interpretations. Challenging the prosecution’s evidence of corrupt intent could create enough doubt to possibly result in dropped charges.
Arizona treats commercial bribery less seriously than bribery of a public servant, but both crimes are considered felonies. First-offenders could potentially receive probation rather than jail time, as the state classifies bribery as a non-dangerous felony. However, probation instead of prison is not an option if the offender has a previous conviction. A New River attorney could explain a person’s specific sentencing range if convicted of a bribery offense and their potential for fighting their charges or minimizing the impact of penalties.
The presumptive prison sentence for a first offender convicted of commercial bribery that caused a loss exceeding $1000 is one year and six months in prison or four years of probation. However, with mitigating circumstances, the sentence could be as short as six months, and with aggravating circumstances, the sentence could be as much as two years and six months. The presumptive sentence for someone with one prior conviction is two years and three months, and the presumptive sentence for someone with multiple prior convictions is five years.
A first offender convicted of bribery of a public servant faces a presumptive sentence of two and one-half years or four years probation, but mitigating circumstances could reduce the sentence to one year, and aggravating factors could increase it to three years and nine months. Presumptive sentences increase to four and one-half years with one prior conviction and ten years with two or more prior convictions.
When you face bribery charges, do not despair. A skilled advocate from the Grand Canyon Law Group can investigate the case against you and prepare a robust defense.
Call a New River bribery lawyer today. Our team is ready to take the lead in your legal matters to help you save your way of life.