Bribery is a serious offense in Mississippi, and you may face serious legal consequences if you have been accused of this crime. Bribery can take many forms, but bribing a police officer is one of the most common types of this crime. Many people attempt to bribe law enforcement professionals in the hopes of reduced penalties. Some assume that by bribing police officers, they can convince these authority figures to “turn a blind eye” to their crimes. Of course, accusations of bribery may also be the result of a simple misunderstanding.
If you have been accused of bribery, it is important to enlist the help of a qualified, experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. When you get help from a legal professional, it becomes much easier to convince the court that you are innocent. A skilled attorney can also help you strive for reduced penalties, including less jail time and lower fines. With all that said, it always makes sense to learn more about bribery and how this crime is defined in the state of Mississippi.
The Penalty for Bribing a Police Officer
According to Mississippi law, offering or receiving things of value is a felony when these actions are intended to influence a public official. While there is some debate over what exactly constitutes a “public official,” the general consensus is that a police officer is, for all intents and purposes, serving in the capacity of a public official when they are on duty.
The penalty for this crime is quite severe. If convicted, you may face up to 10 years in prison. You could also face a $5,000 fine. In extreme situations, you may be ordered to pay a $5,000 fine and spend 10 years behind bars.
Police Officers Face Significant Penalties for Accepting Bribes
The penalties for accepting a bribe are arguably more severe compared to the penalties for offering a bribe. According to Mississippi Code § 97-11-13, any officer caught accepting “any gift, offer, or promise” will be “forever disqualified from holding any public office, trust, or appointment.” In other words, the police officer will not only face a prison sentence of 10 years and a $5,000 fine, but they will also immediately lose their job. In addition, they will never have the opportunity to hold any similar position ever again.
Why You Should Never Try to Bribe a Police Officer
Faced with such extreme consequences, a police officer is unlikely to accept a bribe. The more likely scenario is that they will immediately report you and start to work with their fellow officers to gather more evidence on you. You may think that an officer is accepting bribes, but they may in fact be “leading you on” and allowing you to incriminate yourself even further.
Enlist the Help of a Quality Criminal Defense Attorney Today
If you have been accused of either accepting or offering a bribe, it is important to enlist the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Reach out to Vic Carmody Jr., P.A. today, and get the legal help you need.