Bribery is the acceptance of anything of value in exchange for influence over the actions of someone holding a public or legal duty. Bribery can take the form of money, favors or other gifts of value.
Bribery cases typically involve people in public office, police or politics taking bribes to influence the performance of their duties. Both parties, the person who offered the bribe and the person who accepted the bribe, are at fault in cases of bribery.
What are the penalties for bribery?
While bribery is a misdemeanor charge in Maryland, it comes with many possible severe punishments. Anyone convicted of bribery faces a two-year minimum mandatory jail sentence, with up to 12 years possible. Fines range from $1,000 to up to $10,000.
What types of bribery are common?
Bribery cases in Maryland generally fall under four different areas depending on the person who took the bribe.
- Bribery of a public employee
- Bribery of a juror
- Bribery of a voter
- Bribery involving athletic contests
The severity of penalties for each type of bribery varies depending on which section of the Maryland criminal code the bribery falls under.
Those convicted of bribery lose some of their civil rights, including the right to vote and the right to hold public office. People convicted of bribery often find it difficult to return to their chosen profession. Even if not legally barred from returning to their profession, a bribery charge may make it difficult to find work from potential employers who are reluctant to hire someone with that conviction.