Graft, which is more commonly referred to as a bribe, extortion, or a kickback, is a term used to describe an offer from one party to improperly influence the judgement of another party, who is in a position of public trust. The transaction could also include a public official making the offer to someone else in exchange for remuneration. In either case, graft charges can have devastating consequences, especially for those who are in influential political positions. Even an accusation of graft can sully an individual’s personal or political reputation for decades to come, so if you have been accused of graft or corruption, you should contact an experienced white collar crime attorney as soon as possible who can advise you on your next steps.
Categories of Graft
Graft can be divided into five major categories, including:
- Contractual graft, which involves the award of a contract in exchange for payment. These contracts often concern public sector construction projects, including road contracts, government building projects, and other construction-related services. However, private sector contracts can also be influenced by bribes and kickbacks.
- Judicial graft, which involves a promise of compensation in exchange for influence in a judicial decision. These decisions often impact the outcome of either civil or criminal trials, sentencing, or even the assignment of a particular case to a specific judge.
- Law enforcement graft, which occurs when policing decisions are made based on the receipt of a bribe, and can range from failing to enforce criminal laws, and destroying evidence, to disclosing confidential information in exchange for a bribe.
- Legislative graft which concerns situations where legislative decisions are influenced by offers of personal gain. Impacted decisions could include the passing or denying of zoning bills or the approval of new licensing laws. Furthermore, the person accused of accepting the bribe does not have to be a member of Congress, as city council members, mayors, school board members, and aldermen all fall under this category.
- Regulatory graft, which involves the actions of board members who refuse or award permits or licenses in exchange for graft payments. Most allegations of regulatory graft include the issuance or denial of building permits, taxi permits, alcohol sales permits, and professional licenses.
Graft often leads to additional allegations and charges of bribery, fraud, theft, and corruption. Those who are charged and convicted face serious consequences, including hefty fines and potential jail time. Many are also banned from public office or lose their company through bankruptcy proceedings as a result. For these reasons, it is especially important for those who are wrongly accused of graft to retain a white collar crime attorney who will aggressively represent their interests in court.
Schedule a Free Consultation With a Miami White Collar Crime Lawyer
At Jeffrey S. Weiner, P.A., Criminal Defense Attorneys in Miami, we know how stressful it can be to be accused of committing a white collar crime and so dedicate ourselves to helping our clients defeat unfair charges and prove their innocence. If you are being investigated for involvement in a white collar crime scheme, please call a member of our dedicated legal team today at 305-670-9919.