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Bribery: a serious charge

Bribery is no laughing matter. It’s a serious offense and a felony that can include a prison sentence and stiff fines. Such appears to be the fate of former St. Louis police officer Terri Owens who pleaded guilty in federal court late last year to bribery for taking thousands of dollars from a Missouri chiropractor and his wife in exchange for hundreds of accident reports.

The couple used the reports to contact accident victims in hopes of providing free services, and then receiving insurance settlements for the patients they treated. While the couple – Mitchell and Galina Davis – were not convicted of bribery, they pleaded guilty to related charges, and admitted for years to bribing at least four St. Louis police officers including Owens.

Bribery is accepting anything – usually money – with the intent to influence and curry favor with the recipient. In the St. Louis case, Owens was a city employee who accepted money in exchange for the reports that would benefit the chiropractor’s business.

Rely on experienced attorney

Prosecuting attorneys sometimes find that bribery can be difficult to prove. Still, people accused of bribery should do a few things:

  • Consult with an experienced defense attorney. Don’t be foolish as you should not try to handle the case yourself.
  • Assemble the necessary documents for your defense.
  • Gather witnesses who will support you.
  • Avoid talking with the media. Rely on your attorney to speak for you.

Follow these steps and work closely with your attorney. Serious criminal charges must be dealt with by an expert who knows the law and can ultimately help you.

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Roberts Wooten & Zimmer LLC
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