Charged With Bribery in Minnesota? Here’s What You Need To Know

By Kirk Anderson on November 1, 2016

At its most basic, Minnesota law defines bribery as giving, offering, or promising a special consideration, benefit, or reward to another person with the purpose of influencing them somehow. A bribe can also be requested in exchange for a more favorable outcome. Bribery is generally associated with people in positions of high influence, including legal officials, politicians, and sports officials. However, it can apply to anyone regardless of his or her status.

Legally, bribery becomes a criminal offense when the bribe is made or suggested by publicly elected officials or their workers that relate to job-related duties. It also becomes a chargeable crime when the bribe involves a witness with the goal of changing that person’s testimony. A successful conviction in Minnesota will result in a sentence of up to ten years in jail and a fine of no more than $20,000. Additionally, public officials could face losing their job.

The exact sentence depends largely on the specific circumstances surrounding the bribe. If it involves somebody who is in a position to officiate, govern, referee, or hold any influence over the results of a contest, the offender could spend up to five years in prison and pay up to $10,000 in fines. People who are offered bribes are required to inform their superiors, and if they fail to do so, they could face a year’s worth of jail time and $3,000 in fines.

Commercial bribery laws outline conduct within a business. Attempting to influence business decisions or asking for a bribe in return for such influence could yield a $10,000 fine and five-year prison term, depending on the amount offered.

If you find yourself facing a bribery charge, please contact us to schedule an appointment.