People offer money to public officials for a wide range of reasons, and while doing so might not seem overly egregious to you, what you're actually doing is offering a bribe. The law takes bribery seriously, so your decision to offer money—or some other type of favor—can actually lead to an arrest. You'll definitely want to speak to a criminal defense attorney who has successfully defended those accused of bribery so that you can begin to build a defense to this charge. Or, depending on the credibility of the evidence against you, consider taking a plea deal. Here are some officials to whom offering money is considered bribery.
Offering a bribe to a police officer is a bad idea. Not only are law enforcement officials trained to detect even subtle bribery, but there's also a good chance that this person will arrest you on the spot—compounding whatever charge you might already be facing from your original interaction with the police officer. While you might be desperate to avoid a ticket or whatever type of charge you're facing, you need to stop short of offering money or anything else to the police officer. Similarly, offering money to a parking enforcement official will likely lead to a bribery charge.
Another type of official whom you may be tempted to bribe is a building official. If you're building or renovating a home, you'll have frequent contact with building officials. For example, if you need a permit and the typical wait time is several months, you might think about handing the building official some money with the hope that he or she can speed up the process for you. Or, if your renovation has failed a building inspection, you might think that an offer of cash will cause the inspector to revise his or her findings.
If you're already dealing with criminal charges, you might be aware of someone who witnessed your alleged act and will be testifying against you. It may be appealing to think about offering this person some money to get him or her to change his or her story. Doing so not only constitutes bribery—a serious charge in itself—but is also an example of witness tampering. Making this mistake will land you in more legal hot water than you're already in. If you've been charged with bribery, plan to hire a criminal defense attorney like those at the offices of Barry W Engle PC right away.