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Accepting/Soliciting Money to Obtain Public Office

Although it is not uncommon to hear stories of politicians accepting or offering bribes, the reality is that this type of conduct is strictly prohibited by federal law. These types of criminal charges are serious, so if you are being investigated for accepting or soliciting money to obtain a public office, it is critical to retain an experienced white collar crime lawyer who can help you formulate a defense.

The Purchase/Sale of Public Office

Under federal law, a person can be convicted of accepting or soliciting bribes to obtain an office if he or she requested or received, either as a political contribution or for personal gain, any money or thing of value in exchange for the promise of support or influence in obtaining a political appointment. This law applies equally to those who solicit and those who receive compensation for aiding another person in obtaining government employment, whether achieved:

  • Through referral to an executive department or U.S. agency; or
  • By requiring the payment of a fee.

For example, if a candidate for a state political office accepted a contribution from a donor in exchange for a promise to appoint that individual to a federal position, the candidate could be charged with political bribery. There is, however, an exception to this law, which applies to employment agencies that operate pursuant to the written request of a federal agency.

Potential Defenses

Those who are charged with this offense risk imprisonment for up to a year, so it is critical for defendants who are accused of this crime to present a strong defense, which could include some or all of the following arguments:

  • The defendant did not have the requisite corrupt intent;
  • The defendant was motivated to act out of broader, legitimate, and legal policy concerns; and
  • The prosecution’s witnesses are offering contradictory testimony.

Formulating a strong defense is critical in these types of cases because convictions can lead to not only jail time, but financial and personal struggles. For instance, being accused of this type of fraudulent activity can effectively ruin a politician’s career even if he or she is later cleared of the charges. Hiring an attorney can help prevent this result, as he or she will be in the best position to protect the defendant’s privacy, while also investigating the claim and collecting exculpatory evidence. Experienced white collar crime attorneys will also be comfortable in the courtroom and if a defendant’s case goes to trial, will be able to advocate on his or her behalf. Finally, a legal advisor can oversee plea deals and ensure that their client is not taken advantage of by an overzealous prosecutor.

Call Today to Discuss Your Case with an Experienced White Collar Crime Attorney

If you are being investigated for accepting or soliciting a bribe to obtain public office, you should be represented by a dedicated attorney who will aggressively protect your interests. Please contact Jeffrey S. Weiner, P.A., Criminal Defense Attorneys at (305) 670-9919 to speak with a Miami white collar crime attorney who can evaluate your own case.

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