Bribery is an act of offering something of value to influence the actions of others. However, there are many different types of bribery in California law depending on who is accepting the offer.
If you are charged with bribery, you need an aggressive defense attorney who will stand by your side. Folsom bribery attorney Chris Walsh is a former prosecutor who now fights for those who have been accused. Call Walsh Law today at 916-237-8270 or use our confidential contact form to reach out to our attorneys.
Bribery in California is defined throughout multiple statutes depending on who is involved, including California Penal Code Sections 67, 68, 85, 86, 92, 93, 137, 138, 165, and 641.3. It involves offering, giving, or taking something of value to unlawfully influence a person in any public or official capacity. Additionally, this action must have corrupt intent.
The California Penal Code categorizes bribery according to who is involved, including:
Folsom prosecutors must prove certain essential elements to convict you of bribery in California:
A bribe must involve an item of value or something that has present or future value. This includes promises to give kickbacks or gratuity.
The item must be given, offered, or taken with corrupt intent. A person acts with corrupt intent when they wrongfully gain financial or other advantage for themselves or someone else.
The item must be given, offered, or taken to unlawfully influence the other person who has a public or official capacity. Thus, if the influence has a lawful purpose, then that action is not illegal bribery. For example, paying an elected public servant $5,000 to vote “yes” on official duty matters is unlawfully influencing them through bribery.
It is important to note that bribery charges may be brought against people on both sides of the illegal transaction. That is, the person who offers a bribe may be charged as well as the person who takes the bribe.
There are certain charges commonly associated with bribery and people often get charged with at the same time, including:
A Folsom bribery attorney can help you understand all the charges you are facing and develop a strong defense to get the best outcome possible.
Most bribery offenses (except for commercial bribery) are felonies. They are punishable by up to four years in state prison and felony (formal) probation.
Commercial bribery may be charged as a misdemeanor if the amount in question is $1,000 or less. Then, it is punishable by one year in county jail. If the amount in question exceeds $1,000, then commercial bribery is a felony offense, punishable by up to three years in prison.
Aside from incarceration and fines, a bribery conviction can result in the following:
Bribery charges can be serious. They can ruin your reputation and land you in prison. However, you do have options to defend yourself. Folsom bribery attorney Chris Walsh knows how to fight these cases because he used to be a prosecutor. He knows a good defense could successfully get your charges reduced or dropped entirely. Some common bribery defenses we use include:
The prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you acted with corrupt intent. If you can prove that you did not intend to benefit from the action and did not act maliciously, then you should not be convicted.
Entrapment occurs when you commit a crime because law enforcement lured or coaxed you into doing so. This defense is available if you can show the only committed bribery because of the entrapment.
False accusations may be made due to revenge, jealousy, or mistake. This defense is available if you were unjustly blamed for bribery.
You may expunge a conviction for bribery if you received misdemeanor charges and served jail time or probation. You may also expunge a felony offense if you were only given felony probation. However, you cannot expunge a conviction in California if it led to prison time.
Bribery may be an offense under California state or federal laws. The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), also known as the “Bribery Act,” makes it illegal to bribe officials like California does. If you bribe a federal official, then you may face federal charges, which can result in even more serious penalties.
Bribery involves a transaction of something of value. That may include money, gifts, employment, favors, votes, and anything else that would illegally benefit a person.
The consequences of bribery charges go beyond incarceration. They can ruin every part of your life. At Walsh Law, our Folsom bribery lawyers know what you’re facing, and we are ready to help. We know you want to clear your name and keep a clean record. The sooner you contact our legal team, the sooner we can get started on your case.