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Bribery in New Jersey

Bribery in New Jersey

Bribery is widely known to have deleterious effects on the government and those people it serves. By putting the interests of private interests ahead of the public good, governmental objectivity is lost and society as a whole suffers. Any individual who attempts to influence the mechanism of the government of New Jersey by bribery may be subject to prosecution. This law applies equally to anyone who gives or receives a bribe, and it also covers other financial and non-financial considerations in place of a cash bribe.

In order to prove that bribery has occurred, the prosecution must show that some sort of quid pro quo relationship existed, in which an official did something that they would not have otherwise done as a direct result of a gift to them. The prosecution must also show that some sort of change in governmental policy or official behavior was intended by the party who offered the gift. However, it does not necessarily matter precisely what the gift was or how much it was worth.

Seeking a bribe is also considered to be a crime, even if the exchange was not consummated or if the gift was of minuscule value. Contributions to a politician's election campaign are not considered to be bribery. Experts believe that the influence felt by the politician, though accepted to be real, would not be not sufficiently direct for a campaign contribution to rise to the level of a crime.

A person who has been charged with official misconduct may want to meet with a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Legal counsel can determine the best defense strategy to use before or at trial based upon the evidence that the prosecution has.

Source: Legal Information Institute, "Bribery", accessed on Dec. 4, 2015