California Bribery Laws

201501.26

Hand giving another hand moneyPublic employees and executive officers in California may try to take the easy way out of a situation with bribery. However, this is a decision that could cost one his or her own job, even jail time.  If one finds themselves in this situation, an experienced bail agent could be the answer to a quick release from jail.

Everyone makes mistakes and for some, that could be one too many if it involves bribes. Each situation is reviewed by the particular circumstances. And that is where the help of a criminal defense lawyer comes in.

It is important that individuals understand how a bribe is defined. Basically, it happens when a corrupt decision is made by a public official in return for money or something of value. Not only could a person be convicted of offering a bribe; they could also be convicted of receiving them.

CA Penal Codes

There are three common penal codes that are important to review: Penal Codes 67pc, 67.5 pc, and 68 pc. The penal codes are similar in that they are felonies for anyone to give or offer to give to an executive officer something of value with a corrupt intent to influence the officer’s decision in an official matter.

Penal Code 67 pc involves bribes of executive officers. Those included are district attorneys, police chiefs, police officers, and deputy city coroners.

Penal Code 67.5 pc is bribery of ministerial officers and public employees. Executive is defined as having the authority to carry out a plan and ministerial is if the person follows his or her superiors’ orders. Employees covered by Penal Code 67.5 pc include traffic clerks and building inspectors.

Penal Code 68 PC is bribery by officers and public employees.

Bribery Convictions

Bribery convictions may be quite severe in nature. As previously mentioned, they could lead to imprisonment, fines, forfeiture of office, and disqualification from future office. Those convicted could be incarcerated between two to four years.

In addition to imprisonment, violations of PC 68 may involve paying a restitution fine. Bribes that were not received carry a fine between $2,000 and $10,000. Bribes that were received carry fines of at least the bribe amount or $2,000, whichever is greater. Or any larger amount of not more than twice the bribe amount or $10,000, whichever is greater.

No matter what type of bribery situation one is in, they do not have to go through it alone, nor should they. It is imperative when a person learns of a bribery charge to consult with a criminal defense lawyer right away. They could provide a free consultation where the circumstances of the case are thoroughly reviewed. It is possible that any charges could be reduced or dismissed. The case will be followed if it leads to trial too.

Those accused of bribery do have legal rights that will be exercised.