A huge percentage of the population in California enjoys watched sporting events and pulling for their favorite player or team. Viewers go in with the expectation that they will be watching all players giving it their all in a legitimate competition.
Individuals who threaten this legitimacy by attempting to bribe a player or participant to intentionally lose may face criminal charges in California. In fact, California Penal Code Section 337b: Bribing Player/Participant to Throw a Sporting Event can be applied in these cases.
You can get help understanding all aspects of a PC 337b accusation right here with the Simmrin Law Group. Make sure you focus on the penalties for a conviction. You can also spend time reviewing legal defenses for PC 337b accusations.
Defining Bribing a Player or Participant to Throw a Sporting Event
- Give, Attempt to Give, or Offer to Give
- A Bribe, Object of Value, or Monetary Payment To
- A Player or Participant in a Contest, Sporting Event, or Exhibition
- So That the Player or Participant Will Not Use Their Best Efforts to Win
PC 337b charges can apply to bribes offered to participants or players involved in many different events, including but not limited to:
- Horse Racing
- Wrestling Matches
Note, however, that some wrestling exhibitions are exempted from PC 337b charges.
Penalties for a PC 337b Conviction in the State of California
Individuals who are accused of bribing a player or participant to throw a sporting event in California may face either:
- Misdemeanor Charges
- Felony Charges
A misdemeanor conviction can lead to up to one year of time in jail. Felony convictions come with harsher penalties, including up to three years of prison time. A PC 337b conviction can also lead to fines of up to $5,000.
Charges Similar to PC 337b in the State of California
California Penal Code Section 337b: Bribing Player/Participant to Throw a Sporting Event is one of several charges used to prosecute acts of gambling associated with sporting events in California. Similar charges can include:
- California Penal Code Section 330: Gaming
- California Penal Code Section 332: Obtaining Money by Fraud Through Gaming
- California Penal Code Section 337a: Pool Selling / Bookmaking / Wagering
- California Penal Code Section 337c: Accepting Bribe To Throw A Sporting Event
All of these charges can lead to serious consequences upon a conviction.
Examples of Bribing a Player or Participant to Throw a Sporting Event
Man A makes a living by betting on boxing matches in California. He sometimes offers the favored boxer a lot of money to throw the match, so that he can make a lot of money. Eventually, one of the boxers he attempted to bride reports him to the police. Man A could be charged under PC 337b.
Man B owns a horse that races in California. He very much wants his horse to win, so he goes around to the jockeys for other horses and offers them money to throw the race. The court system could prosecute Man B for a PC 337b violation.
Possible Legal Defenses for PC 337b Accusations in California
There are a number of legal defenses that can apply if you are accused of bribing a player or participant to throw a sporting event. A professional criminal defense lawyer in Los Angeles can help you review your legal options. Based on the unique circumstances surrounding your case, a lawyer could argue that:
You Did Not Attempt to Bribe a Player or Participant to Lose
PC 337b charges should only apply if you offer a player or participant money or other valuable goods in order to throw a match. If you offered a bribe for the individual to win the game, match, or event, then you should not be convicted under PC 337b.
You Were a Victim of Police Entrapment
Police officers are allowed to conduct sting operations in California, where they try to catch individuals engaging in criminal acts. However, they are not allowed to become overly aggressive or to force people into committing a crime. If you were forced to offer a bribe when you would otherwise not have taken such an action, you could avoid PC 377b charges.
Handle PC 337b Charges with a Criminal Defense Lawyer
You can immediately increase your odds of resolving PC 337b charges in your favor by working with a criminal defense lawyer. The team at the Simmrin Law Group can take on your case if you are charged with California Penal Code Section 337b: Bribing Player/Participant to Throw a Sporting Event. Contact us now by completing our online contact form or calling (310) 896-2723.
You can start getting legal advice today with a FREE consultation.