The Influence Peddling Crime
Since the dawn of humanity, facts, acts and behaviors practiced by Entities and/or Public Authorities through their workers have been reported, which embody corrupt conduct, contrary to public interests and consequently reprehensible by the community.
Because they are considered harmful to the Democratic Rule of Law and contrary to the principles by which Public Entities and Authorities govern, our Legislator has regulated and criminalized conduct that is offensive and contrary to the integrity of the Public Administration.
In this regard, our Penal Code provides for and punishes the influence peddling crime, committed in particular by Public Entities.
What is Influence Peddling Crime?
The influence peddling crime exists in the situations listed in article 365 of the Penal Code (hereinafter referred to as CP).
This crime translates into the following:
– When a person obtains for himself or a third party money or other patrimonial advantage or his promise in exchange for using his influence to obtain from the public entity the supply or provision of a public service.
In this case, the agent is punished with imprisonment for up to 3 years.
If the provision or provision of public service or the decision intended by the public entity is contrary to law or regulation, the agent will be punished from 1 to 5 years in prison.
If the person who uses his influence to obtain these services from the public entity is an employee of this public entity, the penalty will be from 2 to 8 years in prison.
Here the agent sells his influence.
This still happens when:
– Any person, directly or through an intermediary, offering or promising money or any other patrimonial advantage to a third party in order to obtain from a public entity the provision or provision of a public service.
If the purpose is contrary to law or regulation, the agent who achieves such an advantage will be punished with up to 3 years in prison.
If the agent who obtains such an advantage is an employee of the public entity, the penalty will be up to 3 years in prison.
Here the agent buys influence from a third party.
Therefore, in this crime, both the agent who buys and the one who sells influence is punished.
Thus, for the agent to be able to abuse his influence in order to obtain a favorable decision for another person, it is necessary for the agent to benefit from an advantage offered to him by the person who wants the decision. The advantage must be a counterpart.
The decision that the person intends to exercise influence can be a favorable decision, legal or illegal.
In conclusion, it is important to point out that the popular term “padrinhagem” or the influence peddling crime has acquired a prominent place in modern societies in recent years, since its practice jeopardizes the State of Democratic Law.
In addition, the criminal prosecution of the influence peddling crime is undoubtedly difficult and tortuous since it is difficult to prove, however, this fact cannot legitimize public entities to its practice.
In this sense, it is the duty of all citizens to denounce the commission of the crime under analysis in order to hold its agents accountable with the due legal consequences.