Getting pulled over in a traffic stop or encountering a police officer for speculations of illegal acts may cause a person to panic and try to resolve the situation independently. People sometimes attempt to bribe a police officer or public official in Louisiana to try and evade the financial or legal repercussions of disobeying the law. However, this often results in additional legal consequences and hardships for the individual suspected of a crime or violation.
Financial penalties and jail time can result from illegal bribery in these cases. If you are facing charges for bribery of a public official in Louisiana, our criminal defense attorney at John D. & Eric G. Johnson Law Firm may help you diminish the charges and penalties you are facing by providing skillful legal services.
What Is a Public Bribery Charge in Louisiana?
Understanding how public bribery is defined in Louisiana law may help clear up any confusion surrounding the charge or category offense. Additionally, a skilled attorney can assess the bribe incident to discredit any weak evidence in your case. Public bribery incidents can appear differently in every case, but the prosecution may attempt to uphold the law and pursue the full extent of penalties for these circumstances.
According to Louisiana statute 14:118, public bribery is defined as:
“…Public bribery is the giving or offering to give, directly or indirectly, anything of apparent present or prospective value to any of the following persons, with the intent to influence his conduct in relation to his position, employment, or duty: Public officer, public employee, or person in a position of public authority…Repealed by Acts 2010, No. 797…Grand or petit juror…”
In public bribery cases, the prosecutor must prove criminal intent for the individual to be charged with the crime. Whether you are accused of bribing a police officer, employee, or person of public authority, the prosecution has to prove your intent and that a bribe occurred, even if the other person did not accept or follow through. If you have been accused of bribing a public official, a criminal defense attorney may help you build a solid defense regarding a lack of criminal intent.
Penalties for Bribing a Public Official in Louisiana
In Louisiana, offering a bribe is enough to constitute a felony charge. Even if the other person did not act according to the bribe or agreement, the individual accused of the crime could be charged and penalized. Bribing a public official is a serious crime and can damage a person’s record. In the case of bribing a police officer, the individual may have initially been facing a traffic violation or other crime when they attempted to bribe the officer. In this case, a bribery charge may be added to the unlawful acts, increasing the adverse effects.
In Louisiana, the penalties for bribing a public official may include the following:
- Up to one thousand dollars in fines
- Up to five years in prison with or without hard labor
With a dedicated criminal defense attorney on your case, you may be able to avoid being charged with bribery and diminish the penalties you face. In the case you are facing multiple charges, an experienced attorney may be able to help you by providing your legal representation. Additionally, being convicted of a felony can influence other rights and cause other penalties. Many people with a criminal record find trouble obtaining jobs, having the ability to vote, and other adverse effects.
Contact Criminal Defense Attorney Eric G. Johnson for a Solid Legal Defense in Your Public Bribery Case
Facing criminal charges and penalties from a felony conviction can be challenging for many reasons. Bribing a public official in Louisiana may seem like a worthwhile risk to try and avoid other charges or trouble with the law. However, this crime often causes additional legal trouble and penalties. Conversations and acts may be misconstrued, and the individual’s intent may seem incriminating.
If you are facing charges for bribery, the prosecution may pose evidence and testimony against you. With our seasoned criminal defense lawyer, Eric G. Johnson, at John D. & Eric G. Johnson Law Firm in Louisiana, many of our clients have avoided felony charges and the penalties accompanying these crimes. You don’t have to face these charges on your own. Complete our contact form or call (318) 377-1555 to schedule a case review.