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What is the Law on Bribery in Ohio and What are the Punishments for it?

If you are aware of popular American TV shows and popular culture then you are also familiar with the concept of bribery and how rampantly it is spread. Movies like the American Hustle or Once Upon a Time in New York tells the story of corruption and crime going hand in hand.

The city of Gotham from the DC comic world of Batman shows how corrupted public system can ruin a city and livelihood of all its citizens. The hit Netflix shows Lucifer in the pilot episode shows how the protagonist, Lucifer simply bribes the traffic police to excuse his over-speeding and parking on the pavement. You don’t even need to look at cinema or television, just look around and you will realize how easy people feel it is to bribe public officials and get away with anything.


It is a familiar sight in the movies to see a big briefcase full of money being exchanged for a favor or for the public officer to look the other way. In reality, corruption is a problem that all the world’s greatest economies and countries face. Corruption is literally everywhere. You will often hear the news that the customs department was bribed to get illegal drugs and other things into the country, or some zonal government official was paid to approve some illegal and unethical real estate plans. As common as they might be, they are all extremely grave crimes.

Bribery is considered to be a grave and heinous crime in the state of Ohio, in the United States of America. The consequence of giving a bribe to a public servant or accepting a bribe as a public official from someone else can be life-altering.

Ohio Bribery Law

Definition of Bribery

The simplest definition of bribery is giving a public official something of worth or value in exchange for some kind of profit or benefit. The Ohio Rev. 2921.02 defines the following act as bribery in the state of Ohio:

1. Inappropriately influencing or corrupting a government official or political party official in fulfilling their duty

2. Consciously influencing or soliciting a witness to change their testimony

3. Improperly influencing or corrupting a school district officer, employee, or director in the discharge of their public duty.

The common point of all the three above stated point is that bribery is the act of interfering with a person doing his official obligations or duties according to his or her position in the office.

A very simple act of giving gifts to the teacher that has some type of value in exchange for getting a better score in the school test can be considered an act of bribery.

Bribery Law Ohio

Ohio Bribery Punishments

The consequences of bribery may be the following:
  • Imprisonment
  • Court costs and hefty fines as a penalty
  • Getting suspended from public office and banished from any future public employment
  • Permanent records as a criminal for cheating the state
  • Revocation of a legal to practice law, pharmacy, medicine, etc.
  • For an immigrant, the penalty could be the denial of American citizenship or cancellation of green card or immigration visa.
In the state of Ohio, Bribery is considered to be a third-degree felony. The punishment can be the following:
  • A prison sentence of nine months to three years
  • A fine that can be up to ten thousand dollars
When the accused is a public servant, a school district employee, or political party worker then he or she is robbed of the right to hold public office again.

If you are faced with bribery charges in the state of Ohio, you need to find yourself an experienced defense lawyer to reduce your penalties or to get your case dismissed from the Court.
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