What is the Law on Bribery in Michigan and what are the Punishments for it?
This piece provides an understanding through the intricacies of the meaning of Bribery, its major types, critical bits of a charge of bribery and the penalties for bribery in Michigan, a Midwestern U.S. state.
Meaning of Bribery: The term Bribery is used for the exchange (whether giving away or taking) anything that holds a good worth for some favor or advantage which would otherwise not happen and is mostly illicit. Bribery is a form of corruption which involves offering to do something for an individual to fulfill the expressed purpose of receiving something in return.
Generally, gifts or money or items/ products of great value are offered/ taken in bribe. It is seen as a value thought to be suitable to affect one's conduct. Bribes generally include monetary benefits, goods/ products, property like houses and other buildings, other objects of great worth, to affect the action, vote, or decisions of an individual in a particular field.
Major types of Bribery: Different kinds of offerings/favors are included under bribe such as tips offered, gifts in turn of fake deals or to manipulate deals, perks given in order to obtain contracts from public departments, favor, and discounts for getting the task done, cash offered to fuel the political campaigns, tickets given free of cost or even free food, aids and vacations, trade unions involved in sweetheart deals, raising funds, sponsoring, offering property and other objects.
Bribery can take a number of forms. For example, a bike rider might bribe traffic police for exempting him for speeding up, a citizen getting his driving license/other documents prepared before time and without following the due procedure.
Critical bits of a charge of bribery: A phone call recorded between a cop and the individual offering the bribe can work as a proof against the cop to build up charges. The following must be the critical elements essential in order to start a case of bribery against a government employee:
• The person to whom the bribe is offered must be someone with a position in the government or a public official.
• Tangible (such as money) or intangible (such as promises) offerings having a value must be offered.
• An official decision must be aimed to influence to which the person being offered with the bribe holds the power to influence.
• The intention must be clear and sufficient evidence must be present for the case.
What are the general laws for bribery in Michigan?
According to Michigan Penal Code sections 750.117 and 750.118, it is considered as an offense to grant, present, accord or welcome/receive anything of great worth to manipulate the decision, opinion or judgment of any public official.
For example, Offering cash to a judge by someone in exchange for a favorable outcome in court is also considered bribery of a government employee. It is seen as a “felony” under the law of Michigan.
Michigan Bribery Punishments
The law of Michigan takes offense of bribery seriously and the accused is subjected to the punishment accordingly. As a result of this, the following are the punishments decided by the law for this offense:
Offering/ Receiving a bribe may result in $5,000 in monetary fines and up to 10 years in jail. If a person accepts a bribe as an employee of the government, they may be suspended form their job. They can further be disqualified from holding any government position in the near future.
An individual can also be served with up to four years in prison and a $5,000 monetary fine for bribing individuals who have decision-making positions including auditors, referees chairman, directors.