Types of Non-Monetary Bribes That Lead to Arrests
Being accused of bribery comes with hefty consequences. While your first thought may be of your public reputation and business relationships, it can also come with costly fees and jail time. You may wonder where these accusations and charges came from, especially if you never exchanged money with anyone. An important element of this charge is that it does not just involve money, and non-monetary bribes can still lead to serious charges.
California’s Definition of Bribery
California has some of the most complex laws for bribery in the country, covering up to 10 different penal codes. These unique laws define bribery depending on who was involved, what was exchanged, and the specific circumstances of the crime. For example, Penal Code 67 PC refers to when a defendant attempts to bribe an “executive officer,” such as a district attorney or police officer. In contrast, Penal Code 68 PC applies to when an executive officer requests a bribe, such as a police officer asking for cash in return for not charging a defendant with a DUI.
The key elements of a bribery charge are similar across most penal codes, however, and an arrest can occur when:
- Something of value;
- Is given, offered, or taken with corrupt intent; and
- To unlawfully influence another person in a public or official capacity.
This definition can apply to an individual who offers a bribe to someone else and someone who requests a bribe. It does not matter if a defendant actually received or gave a bribe, only that an offer was made and that an individual acted upon it.
What Counts as a Bribe?
While bribes can include money, it can also include promises for services or actions. For example, let us say that a government official is meeting with a local business owner. The owner may want to avoid a local tax, while the government official is up for re-election. If the business owner offers to help raise votes for the government official’s campaign in return for helping him or her avoid the local tax.
To the court, what matters is that the defendant made or received an offer, that there was a corrupt intent, and it was meant to unlawfully influence a person. As a result, you can be charged with bribery for receiving or offering:
- Stocks or bonds
- Financial or governmental services
How Do I Defend Against a Bribery Charge?
Beating a bribery charge comes down to disproving the key elements of the crime. At jD Law Criminal Defense Attorneys, our legal team can develop several strategies to help defend your future, including:
- You did not offer or receive a bribe.
- There was no corrupt intent in offering or receiving something of value.
- The transaction was not meant to unlawfully influence someone.
- The charge was a result of entrapment.
- You were falsely accused.
- It was a case of miscommunication.
If you or someone you love has been charged with bribery, look no further than the San Diego criminal defense lawyer at jD Law Criminal Defense Attorneys. We have decades of experience defending clients throughout San Diego County and have an in-depth understanding of criminal procedures. We can investigate the charges against you, negotiate with the district attorney, and advocate for your defense in a criminal trial. Call us at (760) 630-2000 to get a free and confidential initial consultation.
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