You probably have a pretty good idea about what bribery means, but you may not realize that there are 6 distinct bribery charges in the State of Texas. If you are facing a bribery charge, it is a serious matter, and you're well-advised to work closely with an experienced Round Rock criminal attorney. (Is Everything I Tell My Criminal Defense Lawyer Confidential?)
At its core, bribery – a fairly common white-collar crime – is the illegal practice of attempting to influence a public official’s discharge of his or her public or legal obligations via any of the following:
Offering something of value
Soliciting something of value
Receiving something of value
Giving something of value
The Six Charges
One: Bribes Involving Public Officials
This is the classic definition of bribery, and it refers to the briber directly or indirectly giving, promising, or offering something of value to a public official with the specific intention of influencing an official act.
Two: Bribery Involving Kickbacks
Bribery involving kickbacks refers to engaging in bribery that attempts to exchange some form of favor or compensation for a specific treatment or decision that is beneficial to the briber.
Three: Bribery of or by a Witness
Bribing a witness to a crime to alter his or her testimony is bribery of a witness, and a witness who seeks favors for altering his or her testimony is bribery by a witness.
Four: Bank Bribery
Bank officials cannot accept entertainment or meals in the capacity of their positions – lest it be considered a bribe – and bank officials are required to report any attempts at bribery.
Five: Bribes Involving Sports
Favors made to sporting officials in exchange for the influence they have over the outcomes of sporting events are considered a sporting bribe.
Six: Bribing a Foreign Official
There are some payments that are used to expedite paperwork for international business transactions that are not illegal, but when corporate representatives attempt to bribe foreign officials for their own gain, it is against the law.
The Elements of a Bribe
In order for an act to rise to the level of bribery, the following elements must be present:
The person accepting the bribe must either be a public official or the staffer of a public official.
Something of value must have been offered.
An official act must have potentially been influenced by the briber’s actions.
The public official accused of accepting the bribe must have had the power to perform the official act in question.
The briber must have intended to achieve a specific result.
Ultimately, the prosecutor must be able to establish a causal connection between the alleged bribe and the official act in question, which must amount to more than mere suspicion or coincidence.
Seek the Professional Legal Counsel of an Experienced Round Rock Criminal Attorney Today
Brett Pritchard at The Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard – proudly serving Round Rock, Texas – is an impressive criminal attorney whose well-respected practice focuses on helping clients like you prevail against the criminal charges they face. For more information, please do not wait to contact or call us at 254-501-4040 today.