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What is bribery and when is it illegal?

Bribery, which is the offer of money or gifts in exchange for specific influences or treatments, is something that is often illegal. There are several different factors that are considered when you are trying to determine if a bribe is illegal.

Where did the bribe occur?

This isn't about the physical location at which the offer was made. Instead, what matters is where the bribe would affect. For example, a bribe from a parent to a child wouldn't be illegal in most cases. The bribery of a public official, referee of a sporting event or person in a corporation might be something that runs afoul of the law.

How is it determined if an act is bribery?

There must usually be an element of corruption in order for something to be labeled as bribery. Generally, if a bribery case is brought to court, the prosecution will have to show that there was corrupt intent. This can sometimes be difficult for the prosecution to prove, but it can also be hard for the defense to call into question if there is evidence that the bribe had corrupt intent.

What are some possible penalties for bribery?

The person who was bribed and the person offering the bribe can both be charged with bribery. The possible penalties depend on the circumstances of the case and the exact charges that are present. One example is that a sporting official would face up to five years in prison if he or she was convicted of bribery.

If you are facing bribery charges, you need to understand the penalties you face, as well as the case against you. This can provide you with the information you need to start working on your defense.

Source: FindLaw, "Bribery," accessed Aug. 25, 2016

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