Bribery is a serious crime and can come with stiff penalties in California. You could be looking at significant incarceration time if you are convicted. If you face a bribery charge, it is critical that you hire an experienced bribery attorney to help defend you.
At the Simmrin Law Group, we have plenty of experience mounting defenses against bribery charges. Our bribery attorneys in Arcadia know how the courts treat bribery charges and the types of defenses that are most successful against these accusations. We can help you get started on your defense with a free consultation.
When does a Gift Become a Bribe?
Bribery is the act of giving someone money or a gift in exchange for something in return. The expected compensation for the gift can be many things, including a favor or information.
In some situations, it can be difficult to distinguish between a gift and a bribe. Other times, it is far more clear-cut. Giving a child a toy on their birthday is a gift. Offering the child a toy if they eat their vegetables is a bribe. Fortunately, though, bribing your child to eat their vegetables is not a criminal offense.
This action and similar types of social bribery are not handled by law enforcement. Bribery laws are concerned with bribes that influence politics, government, judicial proceedings, and business dealings.
Government employees are often very wary of accepting gifts while at work for fear that the item will be construed as a bribe. Even if the gift is given with no ulterior motive, confusion can lead to unwanted legal consequences. You can face bribery charges as the person offering the bribe or as the one accepting it.
For a free legal consultation with a bribery lawyer serving Arcadia, call (310) 896-2723
Bribery Laws in California
There are several laws in California that handle different forms of bribery. These laws include:
- California Penal Code Section 67 & 68: Bribery of or by an Executive Officer or Public Employee
- California Penal Code Section 85 & 86: Bribery of or by Legislators
- California Penal Code Section 92 & 93: Bribery of Judges and Jurors
- California Penal Code Section 137 & 138: Bribery of or by Witnesses
Arcadia Bribery Lawyer Near Me (310) 896-2723
Potential Penalties for a Bribery Conviction
The penalties you will face if convicted of bribery depend upon the type of bribery you are accused of having participated in and how the offense is prosecuted by the courts. Commercial bribery isn’t treated quite as harshly as other types of bribery.
Penalties for Commercial Bribery
Commercial bribery can be prosecuted as either a misdemeanor or a felony. Typically if the amount of money or the total value of the gift offered as a bribe was under $1,000, the charge will be treated as a misdemeanor, while if it is over $1,000, it is considered a felony offense.
If convicted of misdemeanor commercial bribery, you could face up to a year in jail. Meanwhile, felony commercial bribery is punishable by up to three years in prison.
Penalties for Other Types of Bribery
All other types of bribery are treated as more egregious offenses. These bribery charges are always felonies and are punishable by up to four years in prison.
Common Defenses Against Bribery Charges
There are many defenses that can be used to fight a bribery charge. After thoroughly reviewing your case, your Arcadia bribery lawyer will decide what approach is best for your situation. Some of the most common defenses used in bribery cases include:
- Lack of intent
- False accusations
Lack of Intent
The intent behind a gift is critical when it comes to bribery cases. If you can show that what you gave or offered was meant solely as a gift and was not intended to influence the other party, you should not be convicted.
Likewise, if you accepted a gift and can show that you did not take any action as a result or believe there was an expectation from the giver of the gift, you should be acquitted of the charges.
Law enforcement is not allowed to coax people into committing a crime and then arrest them for that action. If you can show that you were lured into committing bribery, when you would not have done so without the influence of law enforcement, you will likely beat a bribery charge.
Unfortunately, false accusations are quite common. A person may falsely accuse you of bribery for a multitude of reasons. Sometimes false accusations are knowingly made with malice by the accuser, and other times, they are unintentional and result from confusion.
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Finding a Bribery Attorney in Arcadia
At the Simmrin Law Group, we have an experienced team of bribery attorneys. We know how to handle these cases and will put you in a good position to beat the charges against you or, at least, reduce the potential sentence that you face.
Get in touch with us today by giving us a call or filling out our online contact form. We offer free, no-obligation case evaluations. A member of our team will review your case, answer your questions, and advise you of your options.