Columbia Bribery Lawyer

Trying to compel a member of state or local government to take a specific action can be categorized as one of a few different criminal offenses depending on the circumstances. If such an unlawful arrangement involves an exchange of money or something else of value, it may be considered bribery and prosecuted as such by law enforcement and the South Carolina criminal court system.

Anyone accused of bribery likely has a very challenging and complex case ahead of them, especially if they try to build a defense without the help of an experienced attorney. Representation from a dedicated Columbia bribery lawyer could make a crucial difference when it comes to fighting allegations of criminal behavior and minimizing the impact that a sentence following a criminal conviction may have on your future prospects.

How State Law Defines Bribery as a Criminal Offense

South Carolina Code of Laws §8-13-705 addresses the most commonly understood form of bribery in South Carolina—namely, trying to compel specific action from a public official, elected representative, or government employee through the provision of money or something else of value. Under this statute, a person who attempts to improperly bribe such an official, an official who solicits a bribe, or someone who tries to convince or compel someone to provide specific testimony or refuse to testify in court may face maximum penalties of 10 years in prison plus $10,000 in fines.

S.C. Code §§16-17-540 and 16-17-550 address other forms of bribery. The former section of state law criminalizes the act of bribery as it pertains to “agents, servants, or employees” of a business, allowing maximum penalties upon conviction of one year behind bars and a $500 fine.

The latter statute addresses bribery of officials and/or athletes participating in athletic contests and defines it as an equivalent offense to bribery of public officials in terms of potential punishments upon conviction. A Columbia bribery attorney could explain the differences between these offenses in more detail and determine whether a particular defendant’s actions meet the criteria set under state law for criminal bribery.

Mitigating the Risk of Criminal Sanctions

Regardless of what particular form an alleged act of bribery takes, successful defense strategies for cases of this nature often revolve around disproving one or more of the core elements of bribery established under state law. For example, since bribery requires intent by the perpetrator of the bribe to achieve a specific outcome, it may be possible to fight bribery charges by demonstrating that the defendant had no intention of getting anything back for their money or object of value and instead intended it solely as a gift.

In other situations, it might be possible to show that a defendant was misled or otherwise induced to commit an act of bribery that they would not have engaged in but for that outside influence. Whatever approach best serves a specific defendant’s interests, it is best to work with a bribery lawyer in Columbia with the expertise and experience necessary to effectively execute that plan.

Speak with a Columbia Bribery Attorney Today

Although it is sometimes labeled a “white collar” crime, bribery is still a serious criminal offense that often requires a comprehensive defense strategy. Without help from a legal professional who has handled similar cases successfully before, your odds of securing a positive resolution in your unique situation may be very slim.

A Columbia bribery lawyer could be the ally you need to effectively protect your rights and interests. Call today to set up a free consultation.