The term ‘public official’ refers to someone whose job puts them in an important position in a community. Someone whose authority gives them power over other people, or situations that could directly affect other people. For that reason, public officials need to be trustworthy. Accepting bribes or allowing their authority to be corrupted or ‘bought,’ means they’re no longer impartial representatives of the people in whatever capacity they serve.
This is why bribing or corrupting an official in Michigan is considered to be such a serious crime. If you are accused of trying to bribe a public official in Michigan, you can be charged with a felony punishable by up to four years in prison, and ordered to pay fines of up to $5,000. However, if the public official you bribed faces criminal charges because of their corruption, and they’re facing anywhere from 10 years up to life in a Michigan prison, you would also face 10 years behind bars!
Who counts as a public official in Michigan?
In order to understand this issue properly, it’s important to clarify exactly who counts as a public official in Michigan. After all, this term is a little vague, and could refer to just about anyone serving in a public capacity. So here’s a list of people whose positions would put them in the ‘public official’ category:
- A juror
- An Appraiser
- An Auditor
- A Commissioner
- A Receiver
- An Arbitrator
- A Trustee
- An Executor
- A Referee
What happens when someone accepts a bribe?
If you bribe a public official, it’s not just you that gets into trouble – they’re going to be investigated and possibly charged as well! Under Michigan law, anyone who’s been appointed as a public official, who corruptly accepts money or gifts or any other benefits in return for their report, verdict or award, can be charged with a felony.
This is especially true with jurors in court cases. Our American criminal justice system was set up to give people a chance at impartial justice. So if a juror accepts gifts or any other benefits in return for a specific decision in a trial, it undermines our entire system. Michigan judges take this crime very seriously, and people accused of this crime in Michigan are dealt with very harshly!
Have you been accused of bribing a public official in Michigan?
At The Kronzek Firm, we understand how quickly accusations about bribery can turn into assumptions about someone’s guilt. It can destroy a person’s reputation, and damage their standing in the community. More than that, however, criminal charges can cost you your freedom and your future!
If you or a loved one have been accused of bribing or corrupting a public official, we can help you! Our highly skilled and experienced trial team works tirelessly to help our clients avoid prison, severe fines, and loss of reputation. We have over 100 years of combined experience, and have obtained outstanding case outcomes for many of out clients over the decades. We offer a free initial consultation at 866 766 5245 (866 7No Jail) for those ready to hire an aggressive criminal defense attorney.