Bribery Charges in Georgia
Have you been convicted of bribery in the state of Georgia, or is a close family member or friend facing this charge? Bribery is a serious conviction with strict penalties. You shouldn’t hesitate to reach out to an experienced lawyer like Joey Turner for a consultation on your case.
What does the state of Georgia consider bribery?
Legally, bribery is the act of using an offer or gift in an attempt to influence or sway a public official. This is not to be confused with influencing legislative action – that’s a different crime. In Georgia, it’s legal to influence public officials but you can’t buy an act or promise from them.
The first part of the bribery definition is the crime of attempting to influence a public officer with the gift, reward, or act with the understanding that the recipient will perform a certain way. The second part is the act of directly or indirectly accepting a gift or reward with the promise of delivering or failing to delivery a certain action related to their role.
Who is considered a public official?
Besides legislators, the state of Georgia considers municipal officers, postal workers, municipal council members, members of the General Counsel of cities as public officials. Also included in this list are judges and police officers.
What is considered a thing of value?
This is a little fuzzy. There’s no official definition for a thing of value. We can, however, tell you what doesn’t count as bribery. It’s a long list.
This includes: food or drink consumed at an event or meal, legitimate salary, benefits, commissions, fees, or expenses associated with a recipient’s nonpublic business, employment, trade, or profession; an award, plaque, certificate, memento, or similar item given in recognition of the recipient’s civic, charitable, political, professional or public service; actual and reasonable expenses for food, beverages, travel, lodging, and registration for a meeting which are provided to permit participation or speaking at the meeting; any gift with a value less than $100, promotional items generally distributed to the general public or to public officers; a gift from a member of the public officer’s immediate family; or food, beverage, or expenses afford public officers, members of their immediate families, or others that are associated with normal and customary business or social functions or activities.
What is the penalty for bribery?
In order to prove a bribery charge, the State of Georgia needs to produce convincing evidence that the accused person is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
If you’re found guilty of bribery, the penalty is severe. It’s a felony, and the person convicted faces between one and twenty years in prison, a possible fine that could be up to $5000, or both prison and the fine.
What’s the Best Defense if You’re Accused of Bribery in Georgia?
There are a couple of successful defense strategies. An experienced lawyer may try to prove the following:
- The attempted bribe was not related to the actual duties of the official.
- The bribe is not a thing of value.
- The person who gave the gift did not do so with an intent to influence the official.
- The offer or gift did not exist.
Talk To Us
Are you involved in a bribery case in the state of Georgia? The best idea is for you to consult the advice of lawyer experienced in cases like yours. Reach out to the office of the Turner Firm for a complimentary consultation.