At The Justice Firm, our criminal defense team is dedicated to providing aggressive, effective defense to individuals accused of or charged with bribery. We know these cases frequently involve a complex trail of evidence, and sorting out the details can be a complicated process. Our skill, in-depth understanding of the laws, and level of experience allow us to develop a strong and effective defense strategy for those charged with this serious criminal offense.Definition of Bribery in California
There are numerous statutes which deal with bribery in California, perhaps due to the fact that it is considered a "repugnant" crime by our society. Bribery is basically using a gift or money in an effort to corrupt a public official in the course of his or her work. There are specific penal code sections which deal with numerous laws involving bribery; some of these sections deal with:
- Commercial bribery
- Bribery involving California legislative officers
- Bribery involving witnesses
- Bribery involving public corporations and supervisors
- Bribery involving public employees and executive/ministerial officers
- Bribery involving jurors and judicial officers
California Penal Code Section 7 broadly describes the word "bribe" as signifying anything of advantage or value, present or prospective, or any promise or undertaking to give any, asked, given, or accepted, with a corrupt intent to influence, unlawfully, the person to whom it is given, in her or her action, vote, or opinion, in any public or official capacity.Elements of the Criminal Offense of Bribery in Los Angeles
In every criminal case, the prosecutor has the burden of proving specific elements of a crime. The same is true with bribery; every person is innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Regardless of the facts of your case, elements which must be proven by the prosecutor include:
- You gave (or offered to give) a public officer, or
- A public officer asked, received, or agreed to receive:
- something of value
- with a corrupt intent
- to influence an official matter
So, who is considered a public officer? Jurors, judges, members of a board of supervisors, police chiefs and officers, California state senators, men or women of the city council, deputy city coroners, district attorneys, and witnesses.
Unlike many crimes, bribery is one in which both the individual offering the bribe and the individual accepting it may be tried and convicted. Regardless, there are numerous defense which can help protect your name, reputation, and career including lack of sufficient incriminating evidence, errors made in the arrest procedure, and more. We urge you to contact our Los Angeles bribery attorneys immediately if you are under investigation or have been charged with bribery.Criminal Penalties for a Conviction of Bribery
While it is not true in every situation, bribery is typically a felony offense. This means the criminal penalties an individual will face if convicted are serious. Some of these penalties include fines, forfeiture of office, and time in county jail or state prison. Restitution is another possibility; for instance, you may be required to pay a fine between the amounts of $2,000 and $10,000 if the bribe was not actually received. If the bribe was received, fines will be $2,000 or the actual amount of the bribe, whichever is greater, or $10,000 or not more than twice the amount of the bribe received, whichever is greater.
As you can see, the penalties if convicted are great, and not only impact your freedom and career, but other areas of your life as well.Contact The Justice Firm Immediately
At The Justice Firm, we realize that bribery, extortion, and blackmail are complex matters that require substantial legal skill and extensive experience in order to reach a good outcome. Our team is highly capable and talented, ready to go to work in your defense today. Call us now at (310)914-2444 for a free consultation regarding your bribery case.