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What is bribery?

In the state of Ohio, a person may be accused of bribery if they offer to pay or accept payment in exchange for influence in a government or public setting. For example, a person may offer certain property or money in return for favorable treatment. A person may also accept property or money and, in return, provide favorable treatment.

Bribery can happen in the political world, the corporate arena and even in sporting events. While a person may bribe a politician or government official to overlook shortcomings or illegal activities, a company may bribe employees of another company in order to recruit them. In the sports world, one athlete may bribe the other to lose on purpose.

Bribery of any form, even if the incident does not negatively affect the public, is illegal. Both the person who offered the bribe and the person who accepted the bribe can be charged for the incident. Depending on the role the person played, they could potentially face a jail sentence, expensive fines and probation if they are convicted. Officials or individuals who are in positions of power may also face losing their licenses or positions and be prohibited from working in their field in the future.

Those who are accused of being involved in white-collar crimes, including bribery, may face serious penalties. However, because each case is unique, those facing such charges might benefit from seeking advice from an attorney. The attorney might have a defense strategy that can be utilized to either refute the charges or, if the evidence against the accused person is strong, reduce the charges in order to reduce the severity of the punishments. In some cases, the attorney may even seek to have the case dismissed if there were problems with the investigation. No information in this article should be construed as specific legal advice.

Source: FindLaw, "Bribery," Accessed May 6, 2015

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