Public Corruption Lawyers in New Port Richey, Florida
Protect Your Interests with Over 150 Years of Combined Experience
Criminal acts while in public office is best defined as public corruption. These cases are handled by federal investigators, such as the FBI or the DEA. These federal agents will not go lightly on anyone that is accused of public corruption. They will use any resources and their influence in order to obtain information that is needed for them to continue on with their investigation of any public corruption.
If you are under investigation for a federal offense, you could receive a letter from a U.S. lawyer stating that you are the target of an investigation. Agents may also question your family members or coworkers.
Those who commit these crimes do not want their information splattered all over the place, tarnishing the name they have worked so hard for. Discretion is needed with high-quality legal representation. Anyone that you hire for representation must have a license to practice in federal court.
At Musca Law, we realize the importance of a name. We want you to know that we respect this and will do everything it takes to not have your name thrown in the mud. Our New Port Richey Criminal defense lawyers are waiting to hear from you. With well over 150 years of combined legal experience across our team of highly-qualified attorneys, we have what it takes to help so you can get on with your life and career.
Don’t hesitate to contact us today at (727) 480-9675 to schedule a free initial case consultation with one of the experienced attorneys in our New Port Richey office.
Public Corruption Types
As public corruption is a broad category, it can be broken down into several different types. The two main types of public corruption include Grand corruption and Petty corruption.
Grand corruption often takes place when policies are altered. This is done for the benefit of the person doing it but will damage the well-being of the general public. This occurs in high positions within the government, such as the presidency.
Petty corruption occurs officials who are low or mid-level within the government. These officials will abuse their power by when dealing with ordinary members of the public. Citizens can be impacted a great deal.
Corruption at this level will be immediately examined by federal authorities as this affects many things in the judicial system, as well as politics and public safety. Allegations can be made against one in public office that will damage their career. However, if you use the services of a trusted attorney, you can overcome this obstacle. Such allegations that one may make include:
- Money laundering
- Illegal gratuities
- Election crimes
- Honest services fraud
- Government fraud
- Improper use of government funds
The payment for bribery does not need to have actually taken place in order to be charged with public corruption. A promise of paying the money is all that is needed for an arrest to take place.
More Specific Public Corruption Types
- Prison corruption- This type of corruption happens when prison officials are willing to smuggle in contraband for the prisoners. They do this in exchange for a paid bribe.
- Election crimes- These corruption crimes may involve voter fraud or civil rights violations. It could also involve other crimes in which money was received from an illicit source.
- Border corruption- Bribing officials to look the other way in the face of various things, such as drug trafficking or smuggling illegal aliens across the U. S. border.
- Antitrust crimes- These crimes occur when there is price fixing, market allocation, and bid rigging.
- Kleptocracy- State funds are embezzled in this international corruption.
- Violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA)- This public corruption involves accounting transparency along with the bribery of foreign officials.
How Federal Criminal Cases, Such as Public Corruption, Work
During a federal criminal case, there will be three parts: Pretrial, Trial or Plea, and Sentencing.
During the pretrial, the person convicted of public corruption will be charged. It will be decided on if the person will be released or if they will go to jail. If they are released, the conditions for this will be laid out. Evidence about the case will be provided by the Assistant United States Attorney. At this point, pretrial motions can be filed. It will also be decided at this time if any evidence can be thrown out.
Many times, individuals will plead guilty or wish to at that moment. If the person does plead guilty, there will not be a trial. It will go right to sentencing. However, if you do not want to plead guilty, then you will move to the trial. The jury could review the case and say the person is not guilty. If that is the case, then the trial will be over and the person will not be convicted of the public corruption crime. Sometimes, a defense attorney will be able to negotiate with the prosecution to have the case dismissed. Before getting to this point, you should discuss with a lawyer about reasons why you may wish to not plead guilty.
The final step is sentencing, which can be a bit complicated. However, there are federal sentencing guidelines. When sentencing, they will look at previous criminal activity. If you do not have any criminal history, you will most likely receive a lesser punishment than someone who has a list of crimes they have committed in the past.
An offense level is created for every type of crime. The purpose of this is to show that certain crimes, such as bribery, are not as bad as others, such as murder. However, it still shows that all the crimes committed are not acceptable.
Punishments for Public Corruption in New Port Richey
Severe punishments can be given for public corruption. Both fines and imprisonment can be given. Often the fines will correlate with the number of monies involved that were fraudulently obtained. This could not only be from money but from services and goods as well.
Prison terms, on the other hand, tend to be long. It is not uncommon for someone that has been convicted of public corruption to be sentenced to 20 years in prison.
A public official can also lose the opportunity to run again for any public office if they are convicted of public corruption.
Statute of Limitations For Public Corruption
A statute of limitations for public corruption is five years.
Investigations For a Federal Offense
If a federal employee shows up at your residence or place of work to investigate a federal offense, they will be looking for evidence. It will be in your best interest to obtain the services of an attorney so your case can move along faster.
A federal agent will need to have a search warrant in order to search your property. They must have probable cause in either that you are committing an act of corruption or that pieces of evidence will be found in the place the warrant has been issued for.
The warrant that is issued by the judge will state what can be searched for while the agent is in the presence of your home or place of employment. Should the warrant state the agent can only search your home office, the agent will be confined to this area. They will not be allowed to search other areas of your home. Likewise, if the judge gives permission to search your home office, the agent will not be allowed to search your work office unless the warrant expresses permission to do so.
The Most Common Statutes Used in Public Corruption Cases
The following statutes are the most commonly used by the prosecution of public corruption and government fraud:
- Hobbs Act- This statute prohibits any actual or attempted extortion or robbery affecting interstate or foreign commerce. It is also known as the anti-racketeering act. This act gives harsh criminal penalties as it uses the constitutional power of Congress. This act states that those who obstructs, delays, or affects commerce or the movement of any article or commodity in commerce is subject to a fine and/or imprisonment.
- Wire Fraud- Under this statute, anyone who has devised or intended to devise a plan for wire fraud will be prosecuted. As per this statute, those who have obtained money or property by means of false or fraudulent pretenses, representations, or promises, transmits or causes to be transmitted by means of wire, radio or television communication in interstate or foreign commerce, any writings, signs, signals, pictures, or sounds for the purpose of executing such scheme or artifice shall be punished. Punishment includes fines, imprisonment for not more than 20 years, or both. A fine of $1,000,000, a prison sentence of up to 30 years or both will be imposed for any violation that occurs in relation to, or involving any benefit authorized, transported, transmitted, transferred, disbursed, or paid in connection with, a presidentially declared major disaster or emergency.
- Mail Fraud- This federal statute involves the use of mail services in order to perform fraudulent activities. In order for the prosecution to use this in their case, they must meet all of the following conditions: (1) the defendant must have been engaged in a scheme to defraud; (2) the scheme must have involved material misstatements or omissions; (3) the scheme resulted, or would have resulted upon completion, in the loss of money, property, or honest services; (4) the defendant must have used U.S. mail in furtherance of the scheme to defraud; and (5) the defendant used or caused the use of U.S.mail.
- The Travel Act- This act makes bribery a federal offense that is in violation of either state or federal law. This will carry a penalty of a fine, prison time up to 5 years, or both. However, if an act of violence is committed with this, the penalty will increase to up to 20 years in prison.
- RICO- This statute was designed in order to stop organized crime and racketeering activity in the United States. It is commonly referred to as the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act. Racketeering activity is defined as any act or threat involving murder, kidnapping, gambling, arson, robbery, bribery, extortion, dealing in obscene matter, or dealing in a controlled substance. Penalties under this statute state no more than 20 years can be spent as imprisonment unless the activity has a maximum penalty of life in prison.
- 18 USC 201- This statute deals with bribery and gratuity of public officials. Public officials are defined as a Member of Congress, Delegate, or Resident Commissioner, either before or after such official has qualified, or an officer or an employee or individual acting for or on behalf of the United States of America, or any department, an agency or branch of Government thereof, including the District of Columbia, in any official function, under or by authority of any such department, agency, or branch of Government, or a juror.
- Foreign Corrupt Practices Act- Under this act, it is against the law to make payments to any foreign government officials in order to retain or obtain any business. They have the right to prohibit conduct anywhere in the world.
Save Your Reputation with a Skilled Public Corruption Lawyer in New Port Richey!
If you are a victim of public corruption, you need the assistance of a skilled public corruption attorney that has experience in handling these cases. Do not go at it alone. At Musca Law Firm in New Port Richey, we can help you save your reputation. Never put your future on the line.
Our law firm has numerous experienced attorneys in public corruption. Altogether, our firm has over 150 years of collective experience. Let us put together a strong defense for you. We will work at exposing the weakness of the prosecution. Our attorneys have an excellent track record and we want to serve you. We provide services to clients in all of Florida with offices located not only in New Port Richey but other Florida cities as well. Contact us today at (727) 480-9675 for your free initial consultation. We accept phone calls 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for your convenience.