For everyday hardworking Atlantans, charges of bribery, fraud, and obstruction can seemingly come out of nowhere and cause a devastating blow. If you have been charged with white-collar federal crimes, such as federal conspiracy, then an experienced and knowledgeable Atlanta bribery & obstruction attorney from The Law Office of Lawrence J. Zimmerman can carry out an investigation into your case and work to fight against any federal crimes you may be facing.
A criminal conviction for bribery and obstruction crimes can result in serious court-ordered penalties, such as long prison sentences and hefty fines. Additionally, being convicted of such white-collar crimes can compromise your reputation and even how you are perceived in your community, affecting not only your career but also your personal life. A criminal defense lawyer from our Atlanta-based firm can work passionately to protect your rights and your name.
In some cases, bribery can be harmless. For example, a coach may offer an athlete a reward of greater privileges if they reach a certain training goal. Such instances of bribery are harmless and do not constitute a breach of Georgia or federal law.
The law defines a criminal act of bribery as offering an individual who holds a legal or public position assets or a gift to influence their actions. The “gift,” or item used transactionally for influencing behavior, can range in type from certain contracts to access to bank accounts.
In bribery cases, both the individual who offered the bribe and the party who accepted it can be held liable. If you are facing Atlanta bribery charges, it is critical to work with legal professionals who have years of experience taking on cases similar to yours, with a host of successful outcomes.
Obstruction of justice in Atlanta is a serious crime that can have multiple legal implications. Obstruction of justice can imply different actions, and it is contextual, meaning that it is based on the setting and nature of the case. These crimes refer to any action that impairs the criminal justice and law enforcement system from carrying out their legal duties.
Obstruction of justice crimes can be minor and result in misdemeanor charges. For example, if you lie to a police officer during an arrest or refuse to provide certain documentation that is procedurally part of the arrest, then this could be classified as a misdemeanor for obstruction of justice.
In the context of federal crimes, obstruction of justice can refer to the covering up or destruction of evidence related to a federal crime, such as bribery, fraud, or conspiracy. It could also be the refusal to comply with legal processes carried out by investigative committees, such as prosecuting teams. A conviction related to such crimes can have serious associated penalties.
Federal and Georgia state laws regarding obstruction of justice are vague and loosely defined, meaning that obstruction of justice charges can require complex litigation. This necessitates representation from experienced legal professionals who have successfully managed similar cases.
Because obstruction of justice is so loosely defined, it is a charge that can be applied to a wide variety of scenarios. As long as an action impedes the effectiveness of law enforcement, it can be charged as obstruction of justice. Examples include:
A: If you are convicted of bribery charges in the state of Georgia, then your penalties will vary, depending on the context and details of the crime, including your criminal history and the relative value of the solicited bribe. However, the fines will roughly be three times the amount of the worth of the bribe. Additionally, convicted individuals can spend up to 15 years in prison.
A: Under federal law, bribery of public officials is prohibited. This means that no individual or organization can offer something of value to a public official as a transaction for a specific action. On the other hand, it is prohibited for public officials to accept or solicit such bribes in exchange for carrying out a specific act.
A: While it is true that bribing a public official to carry out a specific action is a crime, this logic does not hold true for individuals and organizations who make campaign donations. This is because the federal courts ruled that the First Amendment, which protects an individual’s right to free speech, must be protected as well. Under the law, campaign donations are considered to be an expression of free speech.
A: Obstruction of justice in the state of Georgia can either be classified as a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the specific details of the case. Resisting arrest or lying to a police officer are typically classified as misdemeanor crimes. However, covering up evidence during a criminal investigation or attempting to bribe or solicit bribes from someone in a judicial proceeding is typically classified as a felony.
Because the laws regarding obstruction of justice in general, and those related to bribery or solicitation of bribes during a judicial proceeding, can be vague, many defendants may have been unaware that they were committing a crime.
An Atlanta bribery and obstruction lawyer from The Law Office of Lawrence J. Zimmerman can work with you to negotiate with prosecutors. We can also represent you in court with a strong defense to optimize your case outcomes. Contact our criminal defense firm today to discuss your case.