Tampering, Coercion and Bribes Defense

Indiana Tampering, Coercion and Bribes Defense Attorneys

Bribery is a charge that stretches across all facets of society, from the coaches in the NCAA who were arrested on the charge in September 2017 to local sheriffs right here in Indiana. Those facing legal action because of bribery, coercion, or tampering in Indiana need to make sure that they have strong legal representation to help them protect their rights.

What Are Bribery, Coercion, and Tampering?

Bribery is a unique charge, because not only does the person who offers the bribe face charges, but so does the person who accepts the bribe.

Generally speaking, bribery is when someone offers or accepts something of value in order to unfairly influence the outcome of something.

According to Indiana code . . .

Sec. 2 . (a) A person who:
(1) confers, offers, or agrees to confer on a public servant, either before or after the public servant becomes appointed, elected, or qualified, any property, except property the public servant is authorized by law to accept, with intent to control the performance of an act related to the employment or function of the public servant or because of any official act performed or to be performed by the public servant, former public servant, or person selected to be a public servant;
As well as:
(6) being a person participating in, officiating in, or connected with an athletic contest, sporting event, or exhibition, solicits, accepts, or agrees to accept any property with intent that the person will fail to use the person’s best efforts in connection with that contest, event, or exhibition;
And:
(8) confers, offers, or agrees to confer any property on a witness or informant in an official proceeding or investigation [in exchange for changes in testimony]

. . . these are all instances of bribery.

Coercion means using physical or psychological means to force or threaten someone else to do your will.

In other words, when someone has coerced another, they have forced them to do something that the victim has every right to refuse to do because they feared the repercussions that might be inflicted upon them.

In the Indiana law code, you will find the following written:

Sec. 1 . (a) A person who communicates a threat to another person, with the intent:
(1) that the other person engage in conduct against the other person’s will;
(2) that the other person be placed in fear of retaliation for a prior lawful act;  or
(3) of:
(A) causing:
(i) a dwelling, a building, or other structure;  or
(ii) a vehicle;
to be evacuated . . . .

In the code, harsher penalties are given when those involved were public servants or witnesses in pending criminal proceedings.

Tampering refers to purposefully changing documents, evidence, or persuading witnesses to adjust their testimony, which falls under the Indiana statute listed above.

These various charges can sometimes overlap, such as using bribery or coercion to tamper with a witness. These white-collar crimes can change the course of a person’s life, as they can be punishable with fines of up to several thousand dollars or imprisonment for nearly a decade. The classifications of most of these crimes can range from misdemeanors to felonies, depending upon factors such as who was involved in the crime and the intended goal. Even after the person has accepted and fulfilled the punishment meted out by the state, it can be difficult to obtain many forms of employment with the felony on their record, hindering their quality of life. Anyone facing charges related to bribery, coercion, or tampering needs to make sure that they have experienced and knowledgeable Indiana legal representation helping them to best defend themselves and find the optimal outcome.

How McNeely Stephenson Can Help

To obtain the best possible outcome in a legal case about bribery, coercion, or tampering, there are numerous factors and situations that must be examined. We have years of experience and expertise that help us to better understand the situations at hand so that we can help our clients mount the best possible defense. We believe strongly in the importance of a solid defense to ensure that all the rights of the accused are protected and to help you find the optimal outcome for your case. We have built our firm with the intention of helping our clients understand the process and guiding them through it, so they and their loved ones can be confident that they have been well-represented.

At McNeely Stephenson, we have served clients from a variety of backgrounds, and we pride ourselves on our role in the community. If you find yourself facing legal action in Indiana or Kentucky related to bribery, coercion, or tampering, we want to be your advocates. Reach out to us today to set up a free consultation and let us know how we can serve and help you through this confusing time. We look forward to hearing from you.