In Virginia, many people have dealings with government officials and work for companies that secure government contracts. In many cases, the government and businesses work together very closely and find that their interests are intertwined. That’s fine but when a business or individual crosses a line and begins to make inappropriate donations or offer inappropriate gifts to in order to curry favor with the government. It also may result in charges if you are the official who accepts such gifts.
In many cases, it is not as nefarious as a suitcase full of money in a dark parking garage as movies or TV may depict it. Most bribery charges are incidents that fall just outside the law. The reality is that money passes hands between government officials and businesses or individuals all the time, but it must be done in a transparent manner that is consistent with the law. The ethical rules of what is considered a bribe and what is a campaign donation, for instance, are very explicitly codified so it is important to follow these rules before attempting to give or receive money when dealing with the government. This is because the federal government wants to prevent the idea that this is a crony capitalism at all costs.
For those who work in or with the government, a bribery conviction can not only mean the end of your freedom but also the end of your career. Often ethical rules prevent those convicted of bribery from working with the government due to the appearance of impropriety. Therefore, if you have been charged with bribery, it is extremely wise to contact our attorneys right away. They can begin mounting a defense immediately and try to keep your freedom as well as your livelihood.
It is doubly important to contact a lawyer because these crimes are often prosecuted at the federal level. Federal prosecutors have a very high conviction rate so it is important to find an attorney who is qualified and has experience successfully handling these cases. Federal court is different than the circuit court, so it is important to hire an attorney who understands the key differences and will work to get you the best outcome possible.
If convicted of bribery, you may face a class 4 felony, which includes up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $100,000. You may also never again hold a public office, if you are a public official or wish to become one in the future. For those who wish to have a career in politics, this conviction will be a death knell for your career. It also will result in extreme hardships for you and your family as they struggle to survive without a primary source of income.
If you are facing bribery charges, you need a defense team who is experienced and compassionate. We also understand that bribery laws can be complex and people can run afoul of these laws without even realizing it. We will work to get you the best outcome possible for your particular bribery case. At the The Law Offices of Patrick N. Anderson and Associates in Alexandria, Virginia, we have over 28 years of successfully representing all types of criminal cases from traffic tickets to murder.