Federal Public Corruption Attorney | NC Political Corruption Defense Lawyer

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The threat of federal public corruption charges can be an overwhelming experience for anyone. You can face substantial consequences if convicted, not to mention the damage that an accusation alone can do to your reputation. If you or someone you know is being investigated for or has been charged with a federal public corruption crime, it is vital to seek the immediate counsel of a federal public corruption attorney.

At W. James Payne Law Firm, we represent clients facing a myriad of criminal charges, including white-collar offenses. Our legal team is dedicated to providing aggressive, strategic, and personalized representation to protect our clients’ reputations, rights, and futures. James Payne has over 30 years of experience working as a legal professional. He has a deep understanding of the intricacies involved in defending those who face federal public corruption allegations.

In order to provide you with the most effective defense strategies, our team stays up to date on case law in the continuously evolving legal landscape of federal public corruption. We know the seriousness of the charges you face and the possible penalties of a conviction. Trust our team to provide you with the representation and support you need.

Understanding Federal Public Corruption

Federal public corruption occurs when government officials, or someone in close connection with them, abuses their position and misuses the power they have been entrusted with for their own personal gain. These individuals might misuse public resources or take advantage of the influence they have. This kind of corruption betrays public trust and could result in harm to communities and individuals. Some common examples of federal public corruption include:

  • Bribery – The personal offering, accepting, giving, or soliciting of anything of value in exchange for a specific official act, committing or aiding in fraud against the US, or being persuaded to perform an act that is in violation of the government official’s official duties.
  • Embezzlement – This is essentially a form of property theft coupled with the fact that the individual took advantage of their position. A federal employee with the responsibility to manage public funds or property can be charged with embezzling if they steal some of the money or property for their own personal reasons.
  • Graft – Graft involves a government official misdirecting public funds for their own private interests. Oftentimes, a private company that is owned by a public official, or someone they know, will pay a bribe or kickback to be treated favorably or receive a contract.
  • Extortion – An individual commits extortion if they use force, violence, intimidation, or threaten the use of any of these acts to coerce someone into doing something or giving them something of value to which they may not be entitled.
  • Fraud – Using deception, deceit, or making false statements in order to obtain property, money, or some kind of services from the government. This includes wire and mail fraud.

The Laws Regulating Federal Public Corruption

There are several federal laws that are used to regulate federal public corruption in the country. Depending on the specific crime a person allegedly commits, they can be charged under any one of the laws or multiple laws at once. Here are some of the applicable statutes:

The Hobbs Act

The Hobbs Act makes it illegal to commit or attempt to commit extortion or robbery affecting interstate or foreign commerce. It also prohibits conspiracy to commit extortion or robbery. The act is designed to protect commerce from the damaging effects of extortion and robbery by regulating both activities and federally prosecuting them.

You can be convicted under the Hobbs Act if you willfully or knowingly commit, attempt to commit, or conspire to commit extortion or robbery that has any effect on interstate or foreign commerce. This act is a powerful tool in fighting extortion and any other organized crime that threatens the flow of commerce.

The RICO Act

The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act is a federal law that allows for criminal and civil penalties against anyone who engages in certain acts that affect interstate commerce, such as bribery or extortion, as a part of an ongoing criminal enterprise. There is a specific focus on racketeering, and the act allows leaders of crime organizations to face trial for crimes they ordered others to commit or assisted others in doing.

In order to be convicted under the RICO Act, the prosecutor must prove that the defendant engaged in a minimum of two acts of racketeering activities in relation to a criminal enterprise that affects interstate and foreign commerce.

The Travel Act

The Travel Act prohibits anyone from using U.S. mail services, traveling internationally or across state lines, or using a facility in interstate or foreign commerce with the intention of committing specific crimes. These crimes include promoting or managing any illegal activities, committing an act of violence to further criminal activity, and distributing the proceeds of an illegal activity.

The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA)

The FCPA prohibits any citizen or entity of the U.S. from bribing foreign government officials in order to obtain or retain business. This applies to publicly traded companies as well. Under this act, it is against the law to pay, offer, or promise to pay any amount of money or anything valuable to a foreign official for the purpose of influencing their decisions or actions. The FCPA is enforced by both the DOJ and the SEC.

The Importance of an Experienced Federal Public Corruption Lawyer

Protecting your rights and freedom when facing charges of federal public corruption starts with hiring an experienced and knowledgeable federal public corruption lawyer. It is essential to the outcome of your case. Here are several key reasons why you should hire a lawyer to handle your case:

  • Knowledge of federal procedures and laws. Cases that involve federal public corruption tend to be complex. There are specific legal procedures, statutes, and regulations that you must be aware of. A lawyer who is experienced in this area of the law will have extensive knowledge of these procedures and laws, and they can make sure you understand them as well.
  • Understanding of federal agencies. There are often multiple agencies that investigate federal public corruption, including the FBI, the Department of Justice (DOJ), and the Office of Inspector General (OIG). An experienced and knowledgeable lawyer will be familiar with the way these agencies work and will be able to help you effectively navigate the criminal justice system.
  • Ability to examine evidence. If there is substantial evidence against you, a good lawyer will be able to analyze it and identify the inconsistencies or weaknesses in the case the prosecution has against you. The investigation process will also allow your lawyer to find any possible violations of your rights.
  • Negotiation skills. Negotiating with the prosecution may be a necessary and important part of your lawyer’s job. With their negotiation skills, they could be able to reduce the charges against you, reduce your penalties, or have your case dismissed.
  • Experience in a courtroom. If your case ends up going to trial, an experienced lawyer will have the courtroom skills necessary to represent you, present a strong defense, and effectively argue your case in front of a judge and jury.

Hiring a talented lawyer ensures you have someone who is dedicated to advocating for you on your side every step of the way.

The Role of the Public Integrity Section

The Public Integrity Section (PIN) is a division of the DOJ. This division plays an important part in maintaining the integrity of the government and in the prosecution of federal crimes and misconduct, such as bribery and election offenses. The PIN has sole jurisdiction over the prosecution of federal judges who allegedly engaged in criminal misconduct. The division also oversees the investigation and prosecution of conflict of interest and election crimes.

The PIN works with the U.S. Attorney’s Offices, giving them advice, and is consulted on every investigation that involves a Member of Congress or a congressional staff member. The Section is also responsible for prosecuting criminal abuses of power. The PIN plays a vital role in sustaining public trust in the government and holding those who abuse their power and positions accountable.

Penalties for Federal Public Corruption Convictions

The penalties for a public corruption conviction can vary based on the charges and the severity of the offense. However, such offenses can be charged as felonies, and they often carry severe penalties because they are considered to be serious crimes. These penalties might include the following:

  • Incarceration – Depending on how severe the offense is and whether the accused has a criminal record, a federal public corruption conviction could result in a prison sentence of several years, potentially more in some cases.
  • Fines – An individual convicted of a federal public corruption offense may face substantial fines. The exact amount typically depends on the specific crime and details of the case, but it could potentially be a very high amount. If a defendant is charged with multiple counts of a severe crime, they could owe millions of dollars.
  • Removal from office – A public official who is convicted of a federal public corruption crime may not only be removed from public office but may also be disqualified from ever holding public office again.
  • Restitution – An offender could be ordered by a judge to pay back all the money they obtained from their crimes or the money that was lost by victims of their crimes.

Although the penalties can vary widely, it is in the interest of anyone being charged with or accused of a federal public corruption crime to seek legal counsel immediately. The sooner you consult with a lawyer, the sooner they can begin working on a defense strategy to mitigate any penalties you may face or prove your innocence.

What You Should Look for in a Good Federal Public Corruption Lawyer

To ensure you receive an excellent defense, you must choose the federal public corruption lawyer who is right for you. Here are some important qualifications and qualities to look for when seeking out a good lawyer:

  1. Experience with federal public corruption charges – You should first look for a lawyer who has experience dealing with federal public corruption cases. They should be familiar with the laws, procedures, and agencies that are involved when handling these cases.
  1. Proven track record of success – Consider every potential lawyer’s track record. You will want to make sure they were able to achieve favorable outcomes for past clients. They might have gotten case dismissals, succeeded in plea negotiations, or had their clients’ charges reduced.
  1. Strong communication skills – Communication is an important part of a lawyer’s job. They should be able to explain your charges, the possible outcomes, your options, and the legal process in a way that you clearly understand. They should also be able to answer your questions and address your concerns about your case.
  1. Personal rapport – Make sure you are comfortable with your lawyer and feel supported. You should have a strong attorney-client relationship in which you can trust your lawyer completely with your case.
  1. Courtroom experience – You should consider the possibility of your case going to trial, even if the chances of it happening are low. You can benefit from a lawyer who is confident in the courtroom and skilled at litigation.
  1. Good reputation – Be sure to consider a lawyer’s reputation among their clients and within the entire legal community. Reviews and testimonials from former clients can give great insight into how a lawyer handles cases, as well as their relationship with their clients.
  1. Ethical conduct – A lawyer should have a high level of ethical conduct and professionalism. You should be able to trust them to represent your interests in the case and follow the law. A lawyer who demonstrates this level of professionalism is an invaluable asset.

Carefully taking into consideration these important factors may help you find a federal public corruption lawyer who is more than capable of representing you. They will be able to provide you with the proper support you need throughout the duration of your case.

Trust W. James Payne Law Firm to Defend You

Regardless of which federal public corruption charges you may be facing, our legal team at W. James Payne Law Firm can provide you with the support and representation you need. Contact us today to set up a consultation with an NC political corruption defense lawyer.