What is the Law on Bribery in New Mexico and what are the Punishments for it?
There are many people who have committed bribery at some point in their lifetime. The severity of such an act may vary from case to case. Kids are often bribed by their parents when they are told that they will get a dessert after finishing off their dinner. Although there are many cases where there might not be any involvement of a law enforcement agency, other types of corruption may be severely penalized if a person is found guilty.
An act of offering or giving something in lieu of something else is defined as bribery. In other words, it is an act where a person intentionally offers or gives something to someone else for influencing the latter favorably.
Bribe rules go beyond the cash
Several people are under the perception that bribery refers to only acts involving cash. Contrary to this belief, the act can also pertain to exchange of government contracts, awards, and gifts. In the United States of America, an act of bribery is regarded as a severe offense. It is precisely for this reason why several states have implemented anti-corruption laws.
New Mexico laws on bribery and corruption
Many anti-corruption laws affect bribery charges in New Mexico. There is a new law that particularly gives special focus to corporations and public officials, which are bribing the officials working in government companies for more favorable conditions. Also, the statutes of New Mexico in Article 24 of Chapter 30 focus on bribery. The state regards bribery of an official, a witness, or a public officer absolutely illegal.
Although a person might be arrested for an act of bribery, the following specific conditions should be present for convicting them successfully:
- An individual being bribed should be an elected official or a civil servant of some sort.
- Something of value has to be exchanged in order to qualify as bribery. As such, any exchange will not be considered bribery except when an agreement involves the exchange of something that has a value. For instance, exchanging some money to get political favors can be regarded as a bribe in the state. It is not mandatory that the agreement should be a written one.
- Prove that there was a causal connection between the act and the payment. However, the prosecution often finds it the toughest point to prove. A prosecutor has to establish that the act and the payment are not merely a suspicious coincidence while the act was actually influenced by the payment.
- The bribe should influence an official act. Such an official plan may be anything ranging from a judge throwing a criminal charge purposely to affecting pending legislation.
- There should be an element of a thing of value in bribe. The item that was of some value and was exchanged should be given or present to the person/party who is being bribed. It constitutes of tangible, as well as, intangible items.
- An individual being bribed should have the authority/power for the commission of the act. An act will not be considered bribery unless the party who received the bribe lacks the power or authority for carrying out the exchanged act.
New Mexico Bribery Punishments
If a person intimidates a witness or commits bribery, he is guilty of a 3rd-degree felony in the state of New Mexico. If a person retaliates against a witness, he/she is said to have committed a 2nd-degree felony.
In case a person is accused or arrested of bribery in New Mexico, they should immediately get in touch with an attorney as soon as possible. The actual punishment for corruption in New Mexico can depend on the type and the extent of bribe. However, the mere fact that a person has been accused of bribery itself is quite severe. The offense can tarnish the reputation of the offender permanently and can even have repercussion on their political and professional aspirations.