Charged With Bribery?
San Diego Bribery Defense Attorney
Bribery is a serious offense in San Diego and the law punishes both those who elicit a bribe and those who offer one. Irrespective of the players involved, both parties are treated harshly under California law.
If you or someone you love is faced with bribery charges contact a San Diego Bribery Attorney at the law firm of The Hullinger Firm for a FREE and confidential consultation.
California Bribery Charges
California bribery law vast and covers a number of Penal Code sections. It can be summarized as follows:
Bribery Involving Ministerial, Executive and Public Officers
California Penal Code Section 67 states the bribery charges against executive officers including district attorneys, deputy city coroners, police officers and chiefs. Bribery charges involving executive officers are felonies under California law.
Bribing ministerial and public officers in California is prohibited under California Penal Code Section 67.5 and is typically a misdemeanor unless the item given or offered is greater than the value required for grand theft. In that case, it’s a felony charge.
Bribery Involving Elected Officials and Legislators
Any elected official who accepts, solicits or agree to accept anything of value from another person illegally in return for using his/her position and office for the benefit of that person is guilty of bribery in under California Penal Code Section 85 and 86. Bribery involving legislators, or other elected officials, is equally punishable in California. The person who offers a bribe as well the official who asks for the bribe can be convicted under the California bribery law.
Bribery Involving Judicial Officers and Jurors
California bribery charges involving judicial officials, judges, arbitrators, umpires or jurors are felony crimes under California Penal Code Section 92 and California Penal Code Section 93.
Bribery Involving Public Corporations and County Supervisors
The bribery charges against local government officials and county supervisors are considered under California Penal Code Section 165 makes it a felony and may lead to forfeiture of office and imprisonment. This statute equally applies to common council members, public corporation members, board of supervisor’s members and other trustee members of the city board.
Bribery Involving Witnesses
Any action to illegally influence a witness regarding the testimony in court can be convicted of bribery in California under the penal code sections 137 and 138 pc that would lead to severe punishments. It is a serious offense and often a felony if a witness is corruptly influenced to modify his/her testimony in the court in exchange for something of value.
Commercial Bribery Under Penal Code (PC) Section 641.3
Commercial bribery charges are quite common in the business arena and occur in business settings. It is a serious offense covered under the California Penal Code (PC) Section 641.3 that may adversely affect the career and reputation of involved parties.
What Constitutes Bribery in California?
California bribery law is vast as it is defined under several penal code sections including 67, 67.5, 85, 86 and other sections. Upon conviction, the bribery charges can result in serious penalties and punishments. The California bribery law is equally applicable to both the givers and receivers. The basic elements of a bribery crime can be outlined as:
- If a person offers a bribe to an official or the officer asks, receives or agrees to receive something of value.
- The bribe is offered, received or asked with a corrupt and illegal intent
- To illegally influence the decision or action of an official
- Can be convicted even if the bribe doesn’t influence the official or is not accepted by the official
- Acceptance of undue influence is noted rather than the value of the bribe
- If the crime is done with corrupt intention
- Official matter involving certain general favors like decision, vote or opinion.
Defenses to Bribery Charges
If there is a clear and static corrupt intention involved in the bribery charge, it makes the bribery charge strong and may result in felony. You have a perfect defense only if there is room to prove the absence of a corrupt intention. Finding the right defense mechanism may be effective if you approach an expert attorney of the San Diego law firm of The Hullinger Firm who quickly build up a strong and effective defense strategy. The defense elements may be tailored on any of the following factors:
- Misunderstanding – It can be a point of defense and may be effective if the jury considers it as a case of misunderstanding.
- Entrapment – If the idea of corruption was given to the defendant by cops, it can be a powerful legal defense.
- An act of mistake – Something happened without planning under the influence of a specific situation may be considered as ‘mistake’ and can be presented before the jury as a defense.
- Intoxication – Your ability was impaired due to intoxication so that you were not able to form content.
Penalties for California Bribery Conviction
Bribery is a serious legal offense in California under the bribery law. There are different punishments and penalties under the law and in most of the case it is treated as a felony. If convicted of a bribery in California, a defendant faces severe punishments. Punishment may include:
- Incarceration up to 3 or 4 years in the state prison;
- Fines; and
- Forfeiture of office in California
The rate of fines depends on the nature and level of the bribery charge, a fine ranging from $2,000-$10,000 is imposed if the bribe was not actually received and if the bribe was actually received, double the bribe amount may be charged as fine. If the defendant is a public official, he/she is disqualified from holding the office in California.
Charged with Bribery in California?
Your freedom and career may be at stake if you are convicted of bribery in California. An immediate and effective investigation is needed to frame your case successfully. If you are looking for expert strategic advocacy in California, call a professional criminal defense attorney from the San Diego law firm of The Hullinger Firm.
Looking for result oriented and aggressive advocacy? Call an expert attorney from the San Diego law firm of The Hullinger Firm.