Bribery offenses are serious felony charges that fall under state and federal laws. Under New York law, bribery charges can result from attempting to bribe someone or accepting a bribe. No matter what your role in bribery offenses is, you can be looking at serious penalties and jail time.

Federal Laws Against Bribery


The United States government has a blanket ban on bribery under 18 US Code Section Chapter 11. Under this federal law, a person in New York is prohibited from bribing any government employee or elected representatives. There are also federal laws regarding commercial bribery amount business entities. For example, federal law makes it illegal to bribe a bank employee, witness, or referee.

Types of Bribery

There are many different types of prohibited bribery. One of the most common types of bribery is illegal kickbacks. A kickback is money or items of value that is given to someone in exchange for another transaction. Examples of kickback-bribery include:

  • Contractor bribing a government official to win a government bid
  • An individual offering money, gifts, or favors to a public employee for a position in local government
  • A representative from a pharmaceutical company offering doctors a vacation or gift for prescribing a certain medication
  • If a person gives a witness something of value in exchange for false testimony or bribes a judge to achieve a certain value, it is also a bribery offense.
Understanding the Type of Bribery Charges You Are Facing

The key to defending yourself against a bribery charge in New York is understanding the type of charge you are facing. A prosecutor must provide the burden of proof, and your defense attorney can help create a viable defense. For this reason, it is imperative that you retain a New York criminal defense lawyer that can call into question whether the actions that took place were a prohibited bribe.

Bribery Charges

Penalties for Bribery

Penalties for bribery vary greatly depending on the bribe and bribery laws that were violated. For instance, these situations could result in the following sentences.

  • Bribery of a major sporting event referee could result in 5 years in prison for the referee
  • Bribery of a public official can result in a fine of 3x the bribe amount and up to 15 years in prison
  • A person that demands a bribe for a favor can be imprisoned for up to 15 years
  • A person who offers to pay a demand for a bribe can be imprisoned for up to 2 years
Felony Charges

Defenses for Bribery

Bribery offenses in New York are hard for prosecutors to prove because bribes are often done in private. It is the prosecutor’s duty to provide the burden of proof, which includes the fact that a bribe was paid, accepted, solicited, or offered.

New York Defense Attorney

Whether you have been accused of accepting a bribe or offering a bribe, you need to seek legal counsel. A New York criminal defense attorney is familiar with federal bribery laws and state bribery laws, which allows them to create a viable defense for defendants. It’s imperative that your attorney has experience with cross-examining witnesses because a great weight is put on testimony in bribery cases. If your attorney does not have extensive trail experience, your case could be at a serious disadvantage.

For professional legal assistance with your case, whether you have been charged or suspected of bribery charges, it is important to contact Stephan Jacob Siegel, Esq. to schedule your consultation today.

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