It can happen so easily – you offer or accept a gift and, suddenly, you’re being charged with bribery. It doesn’t need to be much to put your career and your future in jeopardy. There is too much at stake to risk your livelihood with an inexperienced attorney.
The Los Angeles bribery lawyers at Simmrin Law Group have the experience necessary to sway the jury and negotiate with the prosecutor to reduce your sentence – or even get it dropped altogether. The right Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer can make the difference between years in prison and carrying on with your life.
Bribery Charges in California
Not every bribery case is the same. In general, California law views bribery as the exchange of money or valuables, or the offer to exchange money or valuables, with the intent to influence the recipient’s decision. In more simple terms, bribery is when you illegally pay or offer to pay someone to get them to do something for you.
If that seems overly simple, that’s because it is. There are actually different types of bribery in California law, and each type has its own definition. Depending on what type of bribery charge you’re facing, you could be facing differing consequences. However, it’s always illegal to either offer or take bribes.
The two most common types of bribery charges are:
When a political official takes money or anything else of value, it’s considered political bribery. According to California Penal Codes (PC) 85 and 86, it is illegal to pay a legislator to vote one way or another or not go to certain committees. Under this law, it’s also illegal to blackmail legislators.
Legislators, similarly, are forbidden from accepting bribes. However, politicians and public officials can sometimes be falsely accused of bribery, either accidentally or maliciously. If a friend gives a politician a gift with no ulterior motive, an opponent or supporter of another politician could cast that as bribery when it really isn’t.
The business world’s equivalent of a bribery charge is known as commercial bribery. This occurs when an employee, agent, trustee, or other person affiliated with a business takes payment from someone other than their employer with the intent of using their position to benefit the person that paid them.
Again, there can be situations that are misconstrued as commercial bribery. There may also be people who want to untruthfully accuse professionals of wrongdoing.
No matter what type of bribery you’ve been accused of, it can be devastating for your career, even if you aren’t convicted. That’s why you need a defense lawyer who knows how to not only keep you from the worst possible consequences, but possibly even get your charge expunged from your record.
For a free legal consultation with a bribery lawyer serving Los Angeles, call (310) 896-2723
How Much Is a Bribery Charge?
The consequences you could face for a bribery charge can vary depending on the amount of money offered in the bribe and what type of bribery it was. Your penalties will also depend on how well your lawyer is able to negotiate with the prosecutor.
Commercial bribery can be charged either as a misdemeanor or a felony. If the bribe in question was under $1,000, it is a misdemeanor. That means a maximum of one year in county jail. If the bribe was over $1,000, it is most likely a felony. That carries a higher penalty of up to three years in state prison.
All other types of bribery are automatically considered felonies. If you’re charged with felony bribery, you could be facing up to four years in state prison.
These are the maximum punishments, though. A Los Angeles bribery lawyer could be able to get your sentence reduced or even dropped entirely. To find out how much time in prison you might be facing and how we can help, get a free consultation with one of our attorneys today.
Los Angeles Bribery Lawyer Near Me (310) 896-2723
Can You Go to Jail for Bribery?
Yes, people convicted of bribery are often sentenced to either county jail or state prison, depending on the severity of their charge. That doesn’t have to happen, though. Judges commonly use formal probation as an alternative to jail time.
Formal probation, also known as felony probation, allows convicted offenders to avoid prison time by having a probation officer supervise them for a period of three to five years. The offender will have certain terms and conditions applied to their probation, and if they fail to meet those, they could be facing prison time.
Probation is often the result of negotiations between a defense lawyer and a judge. With the right criminal defense attorney, you could be able to avoid prison altogether and be able to live your life outside of jail.
Talk to a Los Angeles Bribery Lawyer Today
When you’re on trial for a crime as serious as bribery, you don’t want to leave anything up to chance. That’s why you should have a defense lawyer who has the experience and skill to get you the best deal possible.
The Los Angeles bribery lawyers at Simmrin Law Group can help you throughout the process and make sure your rights are protected. Call us or contact us online to get your FREE consultation with one of our defense attorneys.