If you were accused of illegally bribing someone in Lincoln, you will likely be prosecuted at the state-level rather than the federal-level. However, there are certain circumstances under which federal bribery laws supersede Nebraska state statutes, and it is important to understand both federal and state regulations to achieve a positive outcome in your case.
A Lincoln federal bribery lawyer can help you understand the nuances of federal and state laws regarding bribery. Once you have a clear picture of what charges you face and why you are facing them, a federal criminal defense attorney at Berry Law can work tirelessly on your behalf to represent your interests and defend your rights.
Differences between Federal and State Bribery Offenses
According to Nebraska Revised Statutes §28-917, the offense of bribery entails offering money, services, or something else of value in exchange for favorable treatment from a public servant or figure in violation their oath of office. This statute also prohibits any public official from accepting such an offer.
In either case, a person convicted of bribery may face penalties for a Class IV felony, even if the alleged bribe was never actually paid out. Bribery of a commercial entity other than a public official – such as a lawyer, doctor, trustee, or legally authorized arbitrator – is a Class I misdemeanor under Neb. Rev. Stat. §28-613.
If an alleged bribery offense only involves officials and/or entities within the state of Nebraska, it would be prosecuted as a state-level offense. However, if someone in Lincoln attempts to bribe a member of Congress, a federal government employee or official, or someone about to testify before Congress or a federal court, they may be prosecuted for a federal offense under 18 United States Code §201. A local attorney can help clarify which federal and state statutes may be applicable in your alleged bribery case.
Penalties for Federal Bribery in Lincoln
A conviction for offering something of value to a federal public official in order to influence their actions and decisions can result in a sentence of up to 15 years in federal prison, a fine equal to 3 times the value of the bribe, and disqualification from holding public office. Bribery offenses which are punished similarly include:
- Influencing a public official to violate their oath of office
- Allowing someone to commit fraud against the United States
- Influencing testimony under oath before Congress or a federal court
- Refraining from providing testimony under oath before Congress or a federal court
Conversely, bribery meant to reward a public official’s action rather than directly influence their decisions is punished more lightly. Offering a public official something of value for an official act they performed or will perform, rewarding someone for testifying – or not testifying – before Congress or a federal court, or accepting a bribe as a federal public official is punishable by up to 2 years in federal prison.
Talk to a Lincoln Federal Bribery Attorney Today
Bribery charges can be challenging to contest without the skilled representation of an experienced attorney. If you are facing allegations of federal bribery, retaining a dedicated defense attorney can improve your ability to achieve a favorable case outcome.
The guidance and support of a Lincoln federal bribery lawyer could be essential to protecting your rights and future prospects. Call Berry Law today to learn more about the legal options available to you.