Official misconduct is the illegal act by a public official. A public official is defined as any officer or employee of the government. An illegal act is defined as an unauthorized act that was committed during the public official’s prescribed duty of care to the public. The duty of care is measured by the standard of care as defined by the law, and thus, is non-discretionary. It is important to note that an unauthorized act rises to the level of official misconduct only if the public official knew at the time that his or her act was unlawful.
For the crime of official misconduct, the State must prove that the public official had a clear duty to refrain from the act committed. Specifically, there must be applicable law that regulates and determines the illegality of the public official’s conduct.
In California, Penal Code §801.5 governs the time frame for which a public official may be convicted of his or her illegal act. Specifically, section 801.5 provides that prosecution for the alleged illegal act shall be commenced within four years after the completion of the act in question.
Federal prosecutions for official misconduct can be based on a host of statutes, often by 18 U.S.C. § 1346, often referred to as “honest services fraud.” In honest services fraud cases, officials are generally charged with direct or indirect bribery in which a public official was paid in some way for a particular decision or action, and failure to disclose a conflict of interest, resulting in personal gain.
An effective defense can protect against an official misconduct charge.
When facing new criminal charges, hiring the right lawyer is one of the most important things you can do. An official misconduct conviction will affect the rest of your life; you cannot afford to trust your future to a cut-rate lawyer.
The experienced criminal lawyers at Boxer McLaughlin, APC maximize our clients’ outcomes – from negotiating a favorable settlement to winning at trial.
With decades of criminal defense experience the attorneys at Boxer McLaughlin, APC know how to achieve success for our clients.
As experienced criminal defense attorneys we know how best to defend our clients against the government.
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