Criminal Law on Corruption and Anti-Corruption

Criminal Law on Corruption and Anti-Corruption

Lawyer for Criminal Law on Corruption and Anti-Corruption

Corruption Criminal Law governs criminal offences related to bribery, the granting of advantages and other forms of behaviour that are increasingly occurring at the interface between public offices and the business world. When facing corruption allegations, economic existence is at stake. As a proven expert in this area of law, Dr. Elias Schönborn advises and represents you throughout Austria on the subject of criminal law relating to corruption.
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Recognising risks in grey areas in time

Activity in business and politics sometimes carries the risk of being accused of a conflict of interest. Nowadays, allegations of corruption can affect not only top politicians, but also businesspeople and administrative officials. It is not always clear which types of behaviour are permitted and which are not. In practice, many managing directors, department heads and office bearers operate in grey areas without being aware of it.

Dr. Elias Schönborn has specialised in the field of criminal corruption law since the beginning of his legal career. In addition to his practical work as a lawyer, he regularly publishes on issues of criminal law relating to corruption, lectures on these topics and is the author of the specialist book „Korruption im Gesundheitswesen“ (2019) which analyzes corruption in the healthcare sector from a criminal law perspective. Companies and public corporations trust our Training, support with Compliance Measures and Legal Opinions to assess risky business practices. We also assist you in conducting Internal Investigations in cases of suspected potentially corrupt practices.

Do you have any questions on this topic or do you need support? Feel free to contact us directly.

Dr. Elias Schönborn

Do you have any questions on this topic or do you need support? Feel free to contact us directly.

Dr. Elias Schönborn
Attorney at Law & Criminal Defense Lawyer

Effective criminal defense

The initiation of criminal investigation proceedings due to allegations of corruption is particularly stressful. In addition to the threat of penalties and association fines, one’s reputation can also suffer considerably. In such situations, it is important to have an experienced criminal corruptions lawyer at your side to protect your rights in the best possible way. In the course of Criminal Defense, we defend you in all criminal proceedings involving allegations of corruption. In doing so, we focus on a proactive and individually tailored defense strategy that starts in the investigation proceedings.

Our expertise in Corruption Criminal Law

We advise and represent you on the following topics, among others:

  • Misuse of official authority (Sec 302 StGB)
  • Anti-corruption compliance and corruption prevention
  • Accepting undue advantages (Sec 304 StGB)
  • Active Bribery (Sec 307 StGB)
  • Code of Conduct
  • False official certification and authentication (Sec 311 StGB)
  • Acceptance of gifts by persons in authority (Sec 153a StGB)
  • Acceptance of gifts and bribery of employees and representatives (Section 309 StGB)
  • Employee training
  • Risk analysis
  • Association responsibility
  • Unlawful intervention (Section 308 StGB)
  • Violation of the duty to keep official secrets (Sec 310 StGB)
  • Avoidance of conflicts of interest
  • Accepting undue advantages (Sec 305 StGB)
  • Acceptance of benefits for the purpose of interference (Sec 306 StGB)
  • Giving undue advantages (Sec 307a StGB)
  • Giving undue advantages for the purpose of interference (“feeding”, Section 307b StGB)
Dr. Elias Schönborn
Dr. Elias Schönborn
Attorney at Law & Criminal Defense Lawyer


  • 1. What is corruption in the criminal law sense?

    Corruption is defined as the abuse of entrusted power for private gain. Depending on the political environment, culture and economic sector, corrupt behavior occurs in a wide variety of forms and affects both the private and public sector. In a legal context, corruption can occur in various forms. Consequently, there are several corruption offenses in criminal law. In the public sector, these include for example passive bribery (Sec 304 StGB), active bribery (Sec 307 StGB), acceptance of undue advantages (Sec 305 StGB) and giving undue advantages (Sec 307a StGB). In the private sector, the acceptance of gifts and bribery of employees or representatives (Sec 309 StGB) are also relevant.
  • 2. Which penalties can be expected for violations of criminal law on corruption in Austria?

    Corruption is severely punished in Austria. The extent of the penalties for corruption offenses varies considerably with the primary determinant being the type of offense and the severity of the accusation. In criminal law on corruption, prison sentences of between six months and 15 years are typically available as a potential penalty.
  • 3. In which cases should I hire a lawyer or criminal defense attorney on criminal corruption law?

    In the event of being accused of having committed a criminal offense under corruption law or of being involved in such an offense, it is advisable to consult a lawyer specialising in criminal corruption law as soon as possible. A criminal defense lawyer with expertise in criminal law on corruption, will inform you of your rights and assist you in asserting them effectively. Together with you, they will develop a suitable defense strategy that is tailored to the specifics of the case. In the event that there is a suspicion that criminal corruption law violations have occurred in your company, a lawyer specialising in criminal corruption law can support you in the internal investigation and help to quickly clarify the facts of the case and initiate the necessary legal steps.
  • 4. What are the special features of criminal defense against allegations of corruption?

    The criminal defense against allegations of corruption presents a number of particular challenges, primarily due to the complexity of the facts and legal regulations. A criminal defense lawyer on corruption criminal law must first have a profound understanding of corruption criminal law as a sub-discipline of criminal law in order to be able to defend effectively. There is often extensive evidence in criminal corruption proceedings, which must be examined and analyzed in detail in order to uncover possible weaknesses in the prosecution's accusations and to develop a convincing defense strategy.
    In summary, criminal defense against allegations of corruption requires a high level of expertise, experience and precision in order to achieve optimal outcomes for the accused in this complex area of law.
  • 5. What aspects are risk indicators for possible corruption in a company?

    Particular risk indicators for corruption are inadequate compliance structures within the company. A deficiency of training and sensitization of staff can result in a lack of awareness of the problem. Other potential risks include a lack of transparency and accountability within a company. In the absence of transparent guidelines and procedures for disclosing decision-making processes, it becomes challenging to maintain an overview of the processes within the company, thereby increasing the susceptibility to unlawful behavior. Furthermore, in the event of risky transactions with potential corruption risks, the legal admissibility of the project should be checked in advance by a lawyer specialising on criminal corruption law.
    As part of a preventive criminal law compliance consultation, you can clarify specific questions or seek advice on the introduction or expansion of your compliance management system.

Do you need support in Corruption Criminal Law?

Contact us.