In its most basic form, bribery can be defined as giving, offering, or accepting a benefit or consideration to another person in exchange for influence or bias. Minnesota law separates bribery into two different categories: general bribery and commercial bribery.
Bribery is a white collar crime that carries significant penalties including years of imprisonment and steep fines. If you have been arrested for bribery, it is best to seek the legal representation of a skilled criminal defense attorney.
Minnesota Bribery Attorney
Have you been arrested for bribery in Minnesota? You want an attorney who knows how to protect your constitutional rights, as well as your personal and professional reputation. Thankfully, James Blumberg Law can provide the quality legal representation you deserve.
Criminal defense lawyer James Blumberg at James Blumberg Law holds knowledge of Minnesota’s criminal law and procedures. He is prepared you against your charges. To schedule a free consultation, call (952) 431-7758 today.
James Blumberg Law accepts clients throughout Dakota County, including Apple Valley, Eagan, Lakeville, Burnsville, Rosemount, Farmington, Inver Grove Heights and West St. Paul.
- General Bribery
- Commercial Bribery
- Examples Of Bribery
- Penalties For Bribery
- Two Common Defenses To Bribery
- Statute Of Limitations On A Bribery Charge
- Additional Resources
Minnesota Statutes § 609.42 defines general bribery as when someone:
- Offers, gifts, or promises to give a public officer or employee any benefit, reward, or consideration to which the person is not legally entitled with the intent to influence thereby the person’s performance or duties as an employee or officer.
- While in public office, someone receives or agrees to receive any reward or consideration upon an implied or express agreement to discharge or influence his official responsibilities.
- Offers to reward a witness in exchange for a favorable testimony before a judge or jury.
- Accepts a benefit or financial sum in exchange for silence on a criminal matter.
Commercial bribery is defined under Minnesota Statute § 609.86. Under the statute, commercial bribery is when a person:
- Corruptly offers, gives, or agrees to give, any benefit, consideration, compensation, or reward to any employees or agents with the intent to influence their duties as an employee or agent.
- Being an employee or agent and corruptly requesting, agreeing, or receiving compensation or benefits with the understanding or agreement to be influenced in their duties as an employee or agent in relation to the employer’s business.
In general terms, commercial bribery is when someone offers a benefit to an employee or agent to influence their duties or responsibilities or when an employee requests compensation or benefits in exchange for an influence on their official duties or responsibilities in relation to the company.
Examples Of Bribery
Despite its notorious nature, bribery continues to be prevalent in every state, and most people do not even know they are committing the crime of bribery. As such, it is important to know what bribery looks like and avoid it at all costs. Some examples of bribery are as follows:
- An elected official requesting a compensatory kickback from a construction company if they award the company a public infrastructure contract.
- A professional baseball player intentionally throwing a game or rigging an outcome in exchange for financial compensation from a major gambling organization.
- A witness demanding a large sum of money in exchange for a favorable testimony at trial.
Penalties For Bribery
Generally, the penalties associated with the commission of bribery include prison time and hefty fines. However, specific sentencing guidelines depend on the type of bribery and the severity of the violation.
According to Minn. Stat. § 609.42, if any individual is convicted of general bribery in Minnesota, they will be facing imprisonment for a period not exceeding ten years. In addition, the individual may be fined an amount of up to $20,000.00. It is important to note that it is up to the discretion of the judge or jury to determine whether the conviction will include imprisonment and fines.
Further, it is important to note that subdivision 1 of § 609.42 provides that if any public officer is convicted of bribery, they will be forced to resign from office. Additionally, the convicted officer will be forever banned from running for office in Minnesota.
Commercial bribery is similar to general bribery in that the prosecution will likely seek imprisonment and hefty fines. However, under Minnesota law, the penalty associated with commercial bribery depends on the bribery’s monetary value.
If the bribe received was over $500, the individual may face up to $10,000 in fines and imprisonment for a period not exceeding five years. On the other hand, if the bribe received is valued at less than $500, the offense is punishable by imprisonment for up to 90 days and fines not exceeding $1,000.
Two Common Defenses To Bribery
To defeat the prosecution’s bribery case, the defense attorney must disprove an essential element of the claim. Two of the most common defenses against bribery allegations are intoxication and entrapment.
Intoxication occurs when a person is so intoxicated that they cannot understand or form a state of mind to meet the elements of bribery. Essentially, the defense will argue that the individual was so intoxicated that it was impossible for them to form the required mental state to commit the crime.
Entrapment is a defense where a government official coerces an innocent person to commit a crime. When using the defense of entrapment, the attorney must prove that, but for the government official’s actions, the crime would not have occurred.
Statute Of Limitations On A Bribery Charge
A statute of limitation is a statute that provides a deadline for bringing a legal claim after the incident occurred. In Minnesota, the state must adhere to Minnesota Statute § 628.26, which lists the applicable statute of limitation for each enumerated crime. Specifically, the applicable statute of limitation for bribery is six years. This means the prosecutor must bring forth formal charges within six years, starting when the alleged bribery occurred.
Minnesota Statute 628 Section 26 – The Minnesota Statute website provides a lengthy breakdown of the statutes of limitations for each crime.
Minnesota Bribery Laws – Findlaw’s website provides information regarding bribery, the different forms of bribery, and the penalties associated with each offense.
Apple Valley Bribery Lawyer | Dakota County, MN
If you have been arrested for bribery, contact James Blumberg Law. Dakota County criminal defense lawyer James Blumberg has years experience in criminal defense and is well practiced in successful bribery defense. He can answer any questions you may have regarding the legal process and discuss all of your options.
To schedule a free consultation today, call (952) 431-7758. James Blumberg Law serves clients throughout Minnesota including Rice County, Steele County, Scott County, Sibley County, Dodge County, Olmsted County, and Carver County.