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What if I Didn’t Know it Was a Bribe?

By Hager & Schwartz, P.A.

August 19, 2019

Many business transactions include gifts and perks as part of the deal. Unfortunately, some people are unaware of criminal laws and may accept a bribe accidentally. So what happens if someone accepts a gift turned bribed, and can they still be prosecuted for taking it?

Accepting a Bribe

A bribe is defined as a service or benefit received in exchange for an action or inaction that flies in the face of the person’s responsibilities as a public servant or as a person with common-law obligations.

For example, if an insurance claims adjustor accepts a gift in exchange for artificially increasing the compensation someone should receive for damages done to their house, he or she could be found guilty of accepting a bribe.

However, what if the person receiving the bribe didn’t realize it was a bribe?

Intent Matters

When accused of receiving a bribe, intent matters. Every bribery charge requires that the person accept the bribe with the intent to violate a common-law duty or public servant responsibility. Therefore, if you received a bribe without realizing that it was a bribe, you can defend your actions using this argument.

However, your actual decision-making process is not what matters in a court of law. While you may have had no intention of being bribed, if a judge or jury determines that you knowingly accepted a bribe, you could be charged regardless of your innocence.

This is why you want experienced representation for your case!

Have You Been Accused of Bribery?

If you have been accused of bribery but did not have the intent of accepting a bribe, you need experienced representation on your side to help make your case. Unfortunately, the facts may look like you committed a crime, but Hager & Schwartz is ready to defend your case knowing that this is just a misunderstanding.

Call (305) 330-1360 now for an immediate case evaluationfor your bribery case!