The goal of laws making public corruption unlawful is to preserve public trust and confidence in government. Left unchecked, corrupt actions by public officials will eventually cause the public to lose confidence and trust in public officials and the government. Public corruption is a broad term that encompasses public bribery, illegal lobbying, extortion, graft, influence peddling, no-bid contracts, payroll padding, and other unlawful activities. Governmental corruption costs federal, state, and municipal government entities, and the broader public programs they administer, billions of dollars every year. Since public corruption undermines the public’s confidence in the government, there are both federal and state public corruption criminal offenses. The prevention of public corruption is typically a very high priority for law enforcement. Public Corruption Defense Attorney Baton Rouge LA
Public corruption occurs when there is an offer to give or receive preferred treatment in the performance of governmental duties in exchange for gifts, favors or money. If you are suspected of committing public corruption, you may be the target of a grand jury investigation, the target of an undercover sting operation, or an investigation utilizing cooperating parties, confidential or paid informants, or undercover law enforcement officers. Law enforcement officers may appear at your home or office without notice demanding to speak with you and demanding that you produce documents, books, and personal or business records. If you, or a loved one, are the subject of an ongoing investigation; the target of a grand jury investigation; or have been arrested or charged with public corruption, you should act now to contact David Stanley, a highly skilled Baton Rouge criminal defense lawyer.
David E. Stanley, APLC, investigates, analyzes, and formulates defense strategies to assist individuals charged with public corruption offenses under United States and Louisiana criminal statutes. The goal is to avoid, or lessen the consequences of the charged illegal conduct for the accused. Mr. Stanley is an extremely knowledgeable, experienced, and aggressive criminal trial attorney skilled in formulating effective strategies to counter charges of public corruption. Allow Mr. Stanley to advise you of your rights, what to expect moving forward, the defenses available to you, and the available options. Let him get started today crafting strategies for your defense. Public Corruption Defense Attorney Baton Rouge LA
What is Public Corruption?
Federal, state, and municipal elected or appointed officials, or their employees, sometimes while acting in concert with others in the private sector, may be accused of abusing their power or position to enrich themselves, their family members, or their friends and supporters, which constitutes a breach of the public trust.These crimes are typically non-violent and often involve fraud, embezzlement, theft, or a concealed abuse of power. These crimes are typically felonies that have serious legal consequences. Examples include bribery, extortion, illegal lobbying, extortion, graft, influence peddling, no-bid contracts, payroll padding, payroll fraud, and damaging public records. Violations may occur when federal, state, or municipal officials or employees, sometimes while working with the aid of accomplices outside of government, misuse their positions to enrich themselves at the public’s expense.
These offenses are typically committed in secret or “under the table.” Nevertheless when discovered, they are punishable as felony criminal offenses under both federal and state law. Depending on the particular actions of the individuals involved, prosecutors may bring public corruption charges under several different statutes. Under federal law, the Hobbs Act may be used in cases of attempted robbery or extortion that harms domestic or international trade. In addition, the illicit taking of government program assets or cash may also be subject to prosecution under the laws against program fraud and bribery. In Louisiana, there are a number of state criminal statutes utilized by prosecutors to combat public corruption including public bribery, corrupt influencing, and political payroll padding.
According to Louisiana law, public bribery is the giving or offering to give, directly or indirectly, anything of apparent present or prospective value to any of the following persons, with the intent to influence his conduct in relation to his position, employment, or duty: Public Corruption Defense Attorney Baton Rouge LA
- A public officer, public employee, or person in a position of public authority.
- A grand or petit juror.
- A witness, or person about to be called as a witness, upon a trial or other proceeding before any court, board, or officer authorized to hear evidence or to take testimony.
- Any person who has been elected or appointed to public office, whether or not said person has assumed the title or duties of such office.
Additionally, the acceptance of, or the offer to accept, directly or indirectly, anything of apparent present or prospective value, under such circumstances, by any of the above named persons, shall also constitute public bribery.
Public bribery is a felony offense and, upon conviction, the offender will be sentenced to pay a fine not more than one thousand dollars, or imprisoned, with or without hard labor, for not more than five years, or both. Further the offender may also be ordered to pay restitution to the state if the state suffered a loss as a result of the offense.
Any property which was given, offered, or accepted during the commission of the crime of public bribery shall be deemed to be contraband and shall be subject to seizure and forfeiture. But, if the charge of public bribery is dismissed by the district attorney, or if the accused is acquitted following trial, all property subject to seizure and forfeiture shall be immediately returned to its owner.
Political Payroll Padding
Political payroll padding occurs when any public officer, or public employee, shall, at any time during the six months preceding any election for governor (1) increase the number of public employees in his office, department, board, agency, or institution by more than five percent over the average number of such employees for each of the first six months of the twelve months next preceding the election; or (2) increase the payroll or other operating expenses of his office, department, board, agency, or institution by more than fifteen percent over its average amount of such expenditures for each of the months of the first six months of the twelve months next preceding the election. However, these provisions will not apply where the increases are necessitated by flood, invasion by a common enemy, or other public emergency. Upon conviction, the offender shall be imprisoned for not more than five years, with or without hard labor, or shall be fined not more than five thousand dollars, or both.
Corrupt influencing is the giving or offering to give anything of apparent present or prospective value to, or the accepting or offering to accept anything of apparent present or prospective value by any person, with the intention that the recipient shall corruptly influence the conduct of any public officer, public employee, person in a position of public authority, grand or petit juror, witness, or any person who has been elected or appointed to public office in relation to such person’s position, employment, or duty.
Any person who commits the crime of corrupt influencing shall be imprisoned for not more than ten years, with or without hard labor, or fined not more than ten thousand dollars, or both. Further, a person convicted of corrupt influencing may be ordered to pay restitution to the state if the state suffered a loss as a result of the offense. Restitution will also include the payment of legal interest at the rate fixed by law.
Recognizing the Different Forms of Public Corruption
Public corruption cases may arise in a variety of situations. Individuals are often prosecuted for corrupt or unlawful actions that resulted in their arrest. Common forms of public corruption include:
- Corruption and kickbacks
- Unlawful lobbying
- Conflict of interest Illegal payments for favors
- Collusion, cyber extortion, and graft
- Public payroll padding
Working with an experienced lawyer can be of great benefit to you because of the intricacy of public corruption offenses and the breadth of federal, state, and local laws, ordinances, rules, and regulations. David Stanley is ready to analyze your case and advise you on the proper course of action for the defense of your case, regardless of the circumstances behind your arrest or your role or level of involvement in the allegedly corrupt scheme.
Your Reliable Criminal Defense Lawyer
Public corruption trials tend to generate a great deal of adverse publicity. They can also become very intricate and complicated. You need to make informed decisions based on rock solid advice from your attorney. In Louisiana, David Stanley a public corruption defense attorney offers trustworthy and reliable legal advice and highly skilled legal representation during trial. You will benefit greatly by working with an experienced attorney who is familiar with the laws relating to bribery, theft of government funds or property, and other criminal acts of public corruption. David E. Stanley has the knowledge and expertise to effectively defend you in the trial court or on appeal. Mr. Stanley can also advise you if you are detained, arrested, or formally charged with any public corruption offenses in any federal or state court in Louisiana. Let him assist you by crafting a robust defense strategy tailored to your specific situation. Please fill out our online contact form or call now for assistance.
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David E. Stanley, APLC
1055 Laurel Street, Suite 2
Baton Rouge, LA 70802