Individuals accused of bribery in New York face a serious felony offense. Bribery charges often become applicable when money or another item of value changes hands with the intent to influence the actions of a public or government official. These charges can apply to individuals on either side of the bribery attempt.
A person delivering a bribe attempts to influence the actions of a person in a position of power. Bribery commonly occurs along with political corruption, dishonest business practices, and other white-collar crimes. Prosecutors do not need to show evidence of a legal agreement between the two parties involved in a bribe. But there must be evidence of dishonest or corrupt intentions.
A successful bribery case will prove that one individual delivered something of value to someone working in an official capacity to facilitate a dishonest request. The prosecution must show that the target of the bribe held a position that allowed them to complete the request and took action to do so. The prosecutor must also prove the connection between the payment from the accused briber and the action taken by the target is more than a coincidence.
Individuals who involve themselves with bribery schemes can do so in both active and passive manners. One example of an active bribe is when a person offers money to a public official in exchange for winning a contract. A second example would be payments made to customs officials to ensure prohibited goods can move through ports.
Parties to passive bribery often receive their rewards for inaction or ignoring duties they are trusted to perform. For example, a security guard may take hush money to look the other way while thieves work. An employee could show favoritism to one customer by expediting goods or services to the customer at the expense of a company’s other clients. A final example can include a procurement officer accepting a portion of a contract to ignore others applying for the contract. This last example is a “kickback.”
Individuals accused of bribery will need to act fast to defend both their personal and professional lives. A criminal defense attorney may prove helpful in preparing this defense.