Bribery in Florida
According to Florida Statute §838.015, any act where a public official or any other person agrees to take or give anything that has a monetary value and the intention behind such act is to influence or alter any official action will be considered as bribery. Moreover, Florida considers bribery as a crime or felony of the second degree.
What would it take?
According to the state laws, any kind of monetary reward offered in such capacity is considered as bribery, and any offer or question posed to any public official with such intent will also be considered as bribery. For example, if someone asks, "what would it take?" or "how much do you want for this" to a public official will also fall under the category of bribery.
Penalties for Bribery
In Florida, Bribery is considered a felony of the second degree. Any person who is found guilty of such crime may face any of following penalties:
Imprisonment up to 15 years
Probation up to 15 years
A fine amounting to $10,000
The maximum imprisonment for such felony should not exceed 15 years of imprisonment.
Defenses to Bribery
Any generalized expectation cannot be considered as bribery. That said, if it can be proved that there was nothing explicitly offered to a public official or there was no explicit favor offered to the official, it will not be considered as bribery.
Therefore, a person cannot be convicted for bribery because of a general expectation related to any type of future favorable action. Also, the agreement or consent of the public official to do or refrain from a certain act is mandatory to prove it as a crime. In the absence of the above mentioned agreement, a person cannot be convicted for bribery even if the act and the donation have a close relationship.
Contact Criminal Defense Lawyer Larry Avallone
If you have been charged or arrested in the Daytona Beach area, contact Larry Avallone, who is an expert Criminal Defense Lawyer in Volusia County. My initial consultation is completely free. I am ready to provide legal advice regarding the next steps in your case.