Have You Been Charged with Improperly Influencing Legislative Action in Georgia?
The role of a legislator is a very difficult one. They have to balance the needs of their constituents with budget requirements, state restrictions, and a plethora of other considerations. Furthermore, people seek to influence legislators at every step. In Georgia, it is a crime for any officer or employee of the state to ask or receive something of value in exchange for influencing legislative action. A conviction of this crime comes with severe consequences, and a charge is not to be taken lightly. However, a charge is not the same as a conviction. If you or a loved one has been charged with improperly influencing legislative action, you need assistance from the Law Offices of Lawson and Berry immediately. Contact us now for a free case evaluation.
What Does Influencing Legislative Action Mean?
O.C.G.A. §16-10-4 details the two ways the crime of improperly influencing legislative action can occur when:
(a) Any officer or employee of the state or any agency thereof asks for or receives anything of value to which he or she is not entitled in return for an agreement to procure or attempt to procure the passage or defeat the passage of any legislation by the General Assembly, or procure or attempt to procure the approval or disapproval of the same by the Governor.
(b) Any officer or employee of a political subdivision asks for or receives anything of value to which he or she is not entitled in return for an agreement to procure or attempt to procure the passage or defeat the passage of any legislation by the legislative body of the political subdivision of which he or she is an officer or employee.
Penalty for Improperly Influencing Legislative Action in Georgia
A conviction under either section of O.C.G.A. §16-10-4 will be treated as a felony. The penalties include a fine of nor more than $100,000 or a prison term between one and five years, or both.
However, the consequences of a felony conviction extend beyond prison time and fines. It will stay on your record and can prevent offenders from obtaining jobs, housing, or credit.
What are Not Defenses in Georgia
I didn't receive anything: The statute does not require that the legislator actually receive something to be guilty. Merely asking for something of value in exchange for influencing legislative action will be sufficient.
Because of the severity of the consequences, you need a Georgia Criminal Defense Lawyer. Don't just plead guilty or assume you have no option. Our Attorneys have over 50 years of criminal defense experience and are here to help. Contact us now for a free case evaluation.