Even if it was just a gift to a friend or an offer to do something for a colleague, a proposal could be construed as a bribe. That’s serious, and could mean prison time, fines, and having a felony on your record. It doesn’t necessarily have to be that way, though.
A bribery attorney in Alhambra from Simmrin Law Group can help your defense and get your penalties reduced or your charge dropped. The only way to find out for sure what an attorney can do for you is to get a free initial consultation.
How Is Bribery Defined in California?
California files its bribery charges under multiple different Penal Codes (PCs). However, PC § 7 generally defines a bribe as:
“anything of value or advantage, present or prospective, or any promise or undertaking to give any, asked, given, or accepted, with a corrupt intent to influence, unlawfully, the person to whom it is given, in his or her action, vote, or opinion, in any public or official capacity.”
Bribery, then, is the offer or acceptance of a bribe. The definition of bribery might seem needlessly complicated, though, so it may help to break down some of the important elements. To count as bribery, the following factors must be present:
- Value or advantage: This applies to money, property, services, or favors. Even if it’s just offering to give them a leg up in the future, it counts as something of an advantage.
- Present or prospective: The bribe doesn’t even have to be accepted. It’s the act of offering (or soliciting) a bribe that is illegal.
- Corrupt intent: “Corrupt” in this context means dishonest or with the intention of getting an unfair advantage. If the intent is pure, the offer could just be a gift between friends or offering to pay someone for their services.
- Influence: Any bribe has to be given with the expectation of something in return. For a judge or officer, it could be letting you off easy for a crime. For a legislator, it could be voting a certain way or not voting at all.
Because California has so many penal codes that handle bribes such as bribery of or by a witness or commercial bribery, it can be hard to tell what is illegal and what isn’t. Sometimes, something meant as a simple gift is misconstrued as a bribe. If you’re not sure why you’re being charged or need help with your defense, an attorney can help.
For a free legal consultation with a bribery lawyer serving Alhambra, call (310) 896-2723
Is It Illegal to Accept a Bribe?
Yes, it is illegal to accept a bribe. Every law in California’s Penal Code that makes it illegal to offer a bribe has a counterpart that makes it illegal to accept a bribe. People that accept bribes are considered complicit in the crime and are often punished just as harshly as people who offer bribes.
“Accepting” does depend on actually knowing that the offer was meant to be a bribe, though. If you’re accused of taking a bribe but you did not know it was with corrupt intent or was meant to influence you, your charges could be dropped.
If you’ve been accused of accepting a bribe, you can talk to a bribery lawyer in Alhambra for free. At your initial consultation, your attorney can assess your charges and tell you what they can do for you, including if they think they can get rid of your conviction altogether.
Alhambra Bribery Lawyer Near Me (310) 896-2723
Defenses for Bribery Charges
Every case is different, so the defense against your bribery charge will depend on the details of your case and how experienced your lawyer is. However, there are some defenses that are commonly used to protect people accused of bribery.
Common defenses against bribery charges include:
- Your gift or service was misinterpreted as a bribe but was actually offered in good faith.
- You didn’t realize that the gift offered to you was a bribe.
- You offered or accepted a bribe while intoxicated and would not have otherwise intended to bribe anyone.
- You did not actually accept a bribe offered to you.
- The evidence presented against you was obtained illegally.
To make sure you have a strong defense, you should make sure the criminal defense lawyer you’re hiring has the know-how to gather everything they need to and skillfully negotiate with the prosecutor and the judge.
How Much a Bribery Lawyer Could Cost
It’s fair to be concerned about the price of a lawyer. However, it’s also important to keep in mind that, with the right defense, you could avoid hefty fines and jail time. At any point, not having a lawyer could be more expensive than having one.
Your lawyer’s legal fees and billing will depend on the specifics of your case, so it’s impossible to say how much an attorney will cost without knowing your details. Some factors that may affect their price can include:
- How difficult your case is
- How long your case takes to resolve
- How serious your charges are
- Whether there are any additional legal costs like subpoena fees
You can get an idea of how much one of our attorneys will charge by getting a free consultation. Someone from our firm can listen to your story and tell you how much it may cost to defend you.
Complete a Free Case Evaluation form now
Talk to an Alhambra Bribery Attorney Today
Even white-collar crimes like bribery could stay on your record forever. Bribery is almost always considered a felony, which could mean years of prison and a lifetime of telling employers why you’re a convicted felon.
An Alhambra bribery lawyer from Simmrin Law Group could help you get your charges reduced or even expunged. To find out more at your FREE initial consultation, call us or contact us online today.