Bribery in California covers a wide variety of offenses and each one is classified by who is being bribed. One may bribe a witness, a private business, judicial officers, legislators or public officials for monetary gain. It is an effort to influence someone through corruption for any type of gain. The word ‘corruptly’ imports a wrongful design to acquire or cause some pecuniary or other advantage to the person guilty of the act or omission referred to, or to some other person.
Defenses to Bribery
Bribery often hinges on what the defendant was thinking at the time or before the bribe was made. This is a specific intent crime meaning that they must have had the specific required corrupt intent for there to have been a crime.
Often people say things out of context or make comments in a sarcastic nature. Just because one made a comment that seems like a bride does not mean that they have committed the crime. A impulsive comment does not show any planning or any intent corruptly influence an individual.
Intoxication is a defense to specific intent crimes. If one was intoxicated then they likely could not have the mental ability to form that intent. This does not mean that an individual can voluntarily get drunk and then go commit bribes. If there is a scenario where the individual is intoxicated and they did not pre plan there scenario, it is likely they will have a defense to bribery.
There are fewer things worse than finding yourself in a legal battle you aren’t prepared to fight. If you have been accused of a crime, you will need the best help possible to win your case, especially if you are attempting to debunk a bribery charge.
Bribery in the state of California and in San Diego is taken very seriously. It can be tried as a felony and can come with hefty punishments, even including prison time if not handled by competent legal professionals. Bribery is defined very broadly under California state law and doesn’t necessarily just refer to instances when physical cash changes hands.
Bribery charges in San Diego, California are usually treated most seriously when it involves any sort of government elected official. It can, however, include money offered to influence a witness in a trial or bribery in a commercial context. If not taken care of by skilled attorneys, a bribery charge can have grave consequences for the rest of your life in both your professional and personal affairs.
California Bribery Law
Bribery is when a person tries to influence another by using money or gift to a public official during the official’s routine work. The bribery law in California is a two-sided rule, which means it apples to 1) The person who offers the bribe to the public official and 2) The official who consents to the bribe. Bribery law applies regardless if the person actually made the bribe or received, only contemplating about the bribe is enough to be charged with this law. There are two ways to meet to satisfy the bribery law in California. They are 1) The person offers a public officer or 2) The public officer receives, asks, or consents to the bribe. There arte four common defenses to California bribery law.
There are numerous public officials in California common ones are 1) Police officers 2) District attorneys 3) Judges 4) Jurors 5) California state senators 6) Witnesses
Public officer consents to bribe
The public officer consents to a bribe that is (a) Something of value (b) The person acted with intent to commit unlawful act (c) Influence an official nature of work.
(a) Something of value
The value could be either money or a gift. However, it could also be something that is influencing to corrupt something of importance.
(b) Intent to corrupt or commit unlawful act
The person must intentionally cause a bad or wrongful act.
(c) Official nature of work
The official nature of work involves decisions from public officials. It could from political matters, to business, to law.
The four common defenses to California bribery law is 1) Misunderstanding 2) Entrapment 3) The person being drunk and 4) Mistake.
The state may introduce evidence for the jury to believe however; it could be interpreted many different ways.
When a person is influenced to commit an act of unlawful activity. This defense only applies when police officer uses acts of harassment, threats, or influence.
The person was drunk
The person must show that they were intoxicated which disabled their ability to form a state of mind.
A person acts on spur of the moment and influences the public official. The person lacked any type of planning or intent.
The penalties for a person committing bribery is
- 1) Jail time in either county or state prison
- 2) Fines and
- 3) Demotion from office.
The person may also have to pay restitution the bribe was not received between $2,000 and $10,000.
However, if the bribe was received then restitution is calculated by
- 1) The actual value of the bribe consented or $2,000, whichever is higher or
- 2) A higher amount consented to or $10,000, whichever is higher.
Bribery of County Supervisors or Public Corporations California Penal Code 165
Bribery by County Supervisors or Public Corporations is considered a felony if the person has met the four elements to Penal Code 165. The four elements are 1) The person gives or offers to give a supervisor or the supervisors consents to receive 2) Something worth value 3) With Intent to 4) Influence the supervisor in their nature of work. People covered by Penal Code 165 are 1) Supervisor members 2) Council members 3) City board of trustees 4) Public corporation members. There are four comment defenses to Penal Code 165.
The four defenses to Penal Code 165 are 1) The person had no intent 2) Entrapment 3) Coercion 4) The person was intoxicated.
The punishment for a person being convicted of California Penal Code 165 are 1) The person will serve jail time 2) Forfeiture from their nature of work 3) Disqualified from future office.
Bribery by Executive Officers or Public Employees California Penal Code 67 and 68
Penal Code 67 Bribery of Executive Officer
California Penal Code 67 is violated when a person bribes an executive officer. There are four elements to meet to satisfy Penal Code 67. They are 1) The person gives or offer to an executive officer 2) Something worth some value 3) With intent to 4) Influence the officers nature of work. Executive offices in California are 1) District attorneys 2) Police officers 3) Police chiefs. There are four common defenses to California Penal Code 67.
Penal Code 68 Bribery by Officers and Public Employees
California Penal Code 68 comes up whenever an executive or public employee has committed a bribe. There are four elements to be met to satisfy California Penal Code 67. They are 1) An executive or public employee receives or consents to receive 2) Something worth of value 3) With intent to 4) Influence the officer’s nature of work.
The four common defenses to Penal Code 67 and 68 are
- 1) The person lacked intent
- 2) Entrapment
- 3) Coercion and
- 4) The person was intoxicated.
The penalties of bribery are 1) The person faces jail time 2) Fines 3) Give up his or her job form officer and 3) Disqualified from future office.
Bribery of or by Judges, or Jurors California Penal Code 92 and 93
California Penal Code 92 and 93 comes up whenever a judge or juror makes a decision related to the nature of their work for money or something worth value. This penal code is two sided which means a person can be convicted for offering a bribe to a judge or a juror or a judge or juror can be convicted for asking for a bribe. There are four common defenses to Penal Code 92 and 93.
Bribery of Judge and Jurors California Penal Code 92
There are four elements to be met for a person to be charged with Bribery of Judges and Jurors California Penal Code 92. They are 1) The person give or officers to a judge or a juror 2) Something worth of value 3) With intent to 4) Influence the judge or jurors nature of work. California Penal Code 92 also includes people who referees, arbitrators, and umpires.
Bribery by Judicial Officers and/or Jurors California Penal Code 93
There are four elements to meet for a person to be charged with California Penal Code 93. They are 1) A officer receives or consents to receive 2) Something having some value 3) With intent to 4) Influence the officers decision in the nature of their work. California Penal Code 92 also covers people who are referees, arbitrators, and umpires.
The four common defenses to California Penal Code 92 and 93 are 1) The person lacked intent 2) Entrapment 3) Coercion and 4) The person was intoxicated.
Bribery in California is considered a felony. A person that has violated California Penal Code 92 or 93 would face 1) Jail time and 2) Fines. However, in the penalties change under specific situations a person can be sentenced between two to four years in California state prison. Additionally, the person would have to pay restitution relief. Restitution relief is calculated depending on if a bribe was received or not. If a bribe was not received then the fine is between $2,000 and $10,000. If the bribe was received then it’s the amount of the bribe or $2,000, whichever is larger.
Bribery of or by a Witness California Penal Code 137 and 138
There are two types of Bribery of Witness in California, Penal Code 137 and 138. There are four common defenses to California Penal Code 137 and 138.
Bribery of Witnesses Dealing with Testimony California Penal Code 137
This law comes up whenever a person bribes a witness dealing with their testimony during a case. There are four elements to meet satisfy California Penal Code 137. They are 1) The person offers or gives the witness 2) Something worth some value 3) The person had intent 4) To influence the witness during the case.
Bribery of Witness Dealing with Trial Presence California Penal Code 138
The law comes up whenever a person bribes a witness dealing with actually coming into court. There are four elements to meet to satisfy California Penal Code 138. They are 1) The person gives or offers to a witness 2) Something worth some value 3) With intent 4) To influence the witness in coming into court.
The four common defenses to California Penal Code 137 and 138 are
- 1) The person had no intent to bribe
- 2) Entrapment
- 3) Coercion
- 4) The person was intoxicated.
A person being convicted for violating California Penal Code 137 and 138 may face a maximum sentence of four years in California state prison.
If you are dealing with a charge of bribery, you’ll need the best San Diego bribery attorney you can find. Call the professionals at the Law Offices of Bradley R. Corbett as soon as possible and let them help you plan out an effective course of action for your case. Don’t spend another sleepless night worrying about your charge — getting the help you need is just a phone call away. The legal team at the Law Offices of Bradley R. Corbett have years of combined experience you can pull from to ensure the best possible outcome in dealing with your criminal bribery charges.