If you are charged for bribery in the state of New Jersey, you can be sure that the proposed punishments will be harsh. You could be facing years in prison or fines that cost thousands of dollars. Instead of standing alone against these charges, you should contact a Bergen County, New Jersey criminal defense lawyer who can help you fight them.
How Will I Be Punished for Bribery?
The punishment for bribery has a lot to do with how much the bribe was or how much the benefit can be valued at. The higher the cost, the worse the penalties are going to be. There are different degrees of bribery charges, starting with:
Fourth degree: The lowest bribery charge is a fourth degree crime. If the benefit was less than $1,000 you can be sent to prison for 18 months. Fines can rise as high as $10,000.
Third degree: The third degree criminal offense is reserved for cases where the benefit was worth over $1,000, but less than $75,000. Prison sentences for those convicted can last three to five years. Fines can cost them up to $15,000.
Second degree: The highest charge is for situations where the value of the benefit rose to more than $75,000. You can be fined up to $150,000 for a second degree charge. Prison sentences can last five to 10 years.
The punishment from the state is not the only thing to consider here. A conviction of any of these charges can also carry a stigma, affecting you in your personal and professional lives going forward.
We should also note that the person making the bribe is not the only one who can be charged with a crime. The person taking the bribe can also end up facing high fines and lengthy stays in prison.
Do I Need a Criminal Defense Attorney?
Bribery is a serious crime with some extreme penalties attached to it. It is in your best interest to fight back with all of the resources that you can secure, and that includes the help of an experienced criminal defense lawyer. An attorney can help with your case by:
- Getting evidence against you thrown out
- Showing that the prosecution’s case is weak
- Preparing you for testimony or depositions
- Gathering evidence needed to form your defense
- Using character witnesses to sow doubt about the state’s case
- Helping you negotiate for a less severe sentence, if necessary
Your attorney cannot magically get the charges against you dismissed, but they can fight for you and push for the best possible outcome in your case.
Talk to a Defense Lawyer
So if you have been charged with bribery, do not just prepare for punishment. Contact the Law Office of E. Gregory M. Cannarozzi and learn more about what we can do to help you fight these charges and preserve your freedom.