What is the Law on Bribery in Louisiana and What are the Punishments for it?
Bribery refers to the act of paying or offering to pay a consideration or reward with the intention of impacting the conduct of another person. Bribery is a serious offense in the state of Louisiana and will receive stringent punishments including hard labor.
The law on bribery in the state of Louisiana is broadly divided into two types, viz. public bribery and commercial bribery. Both types of bribery attract different kinds and levels of punishment.
Public Bribery in Louisiana
Public bribery is covered under RS 14:118 of the 2009 Louisiana laws.1. Public bribery refers to the act of giving or offering to give anything of significant value to the following persons with the objective of influencing his performance in relation to their official duty or employment:
- Government employee, public officer, and anybody in the position of public authority
- Grand juror or petit juror
- A witness or a person who is about to be called as a witness in a trial before a court or board that is authorized by the law to take testimony or record evidence
- A person who is elected or appointed to the public office irrespective of whether he has yet assumed the public office or not
2. The acceptance of or an offer to accept anything of significant value by any of the persons mentioned above shall also constitute the act of bribery and the person will receive the same quantum of punishment.
Punishment for Public Bribery in Louisiana
- A person convicted of public bribery in the state of Louisiana will be punished with imprisonment (with or without hard labor) for a period not exceeding five years. The convict might also be fined for an amount not exceeding $1,000
- Convict of public bribery should pay restitution in case the state suffers any loss due to the offense
- Any property received by the convict for committing the crime of public bribery is considered contraband under the laws of Louisiana and will be seized or forfeited. The forfeited property will be distributed between the law enforcement agencies (55 percent), criminal court fund (15 percent), prosecuting authority (25 percent), and the clerk of the court (5 percent).
Commercial Bribery in Louisiana
Commercial bribery is covered under RS 14:73 of the 2009 Louisiana laws.1. Commercial bribery is the giving or the offer to give, either directly or indirectly, anything of present or future value to an employee, agent, or a fiduciary without the knowledge of his employer/principal with the intention of impacting the acts of the employee or the agent in relation to the affairs of the employer/principal that could be detrimental to the interests of the various stakeholders involved like employees, management or an organisation, and the customers
2. The acceptance of the offer to accept anything of present or prospective value by the employee, agent or fiduciary without the knowledge of his employer/principal will also be considered as commercial bribery. He shall be equally liable for damage caused by the act as the person who offered the bribe.
Punishment for Commercial Bribery in Louisiana
Any person who is found guilty of commercial bribery in the state of Louisiana will be punished with:
- Imprisonment for a period not exceeding six months and a fine not exceeding $500, or both
- A person who committed commercial bribery and who confesses to being part of the act and states the facts of the case under an oath and who gives proper evidence to the district attorney investigating the case can be given complete immunity from punishment depending upon the discretion of the law enforcement authorities.