If you or your loved one has been charged with or are being investigated for bribery in the State of California, you should immediately contact Orange County Bribery Lawyer William Weinberg. Mr. Weinberg has years of experience defending individuals facing bribery charges.What is Bribery in California?
Bribery occurs when an individual offers a bribe (anything of value) to a public official in order to influence the public official’s act, decision, vote or opinion. California makes it a crime to bribe a public official and imposes a State prison sentence of two to four years, depending on the seriousness of the conduct at hand. In addition to imprisonment, the law states that an individual is disqualified from holding any public office in the State of California.
Under California Penal Code Section 67 and 68, both the person making the bribe and the person accepting the bribe can be charged with and convicted of bribery. If you find yourself in the unfortunate situation of being charged with bribery, contact Orange County Bribery Lawyer William Weinberg to defend your bribery charges. There are many defenses that Mr. Weinberg can use to defend your case. We will discuss them in more detail below.Elements of Bribery that the Prosecution Must Prove
If the facts of your case show that the prosecution will not be able to satisfy any of the listed elements, Mr. Weinberg will use that to prove your innocence and negotiate with the prosecution to have your charges reduced or even dropped.
Crime of Offering a Bribe
- The defendant offered or gave something to a public official or employee
- The things offered was something of value
- The defendant making the offer did so with the intent to influence the public official
- The thing was offered to influence the public official’s decision
Crime of Requesting or Seeking a Bribe
- The defendant requested or agreed to receive
- Something of value, such as money
- With the intent to be influenced
- In an official action
A public official is an individual who holds a position in a public office and has some discretion in performing his or her job duties. This applies to judges, police officers, and district attorneys. For any of these individuals to be convicted of bribery, all the prosecution has to prove is that the public official offered a bribe. Acceptance of the bribe is not a condition for convicting an individual.
For example, an individual can be convicted of bribery by simply offering anything of value to an individual, such as an individual offering a police officer money to convince him not to arrest an him for driving under the influence.
Another example is a district attorney accepting a bribe by a defendant in exchange for the district attorney to not pursue charges against him. In this case, the person making the bribe to the district attorney and the district attorney accepting the bribe may both be convicted for bribery.
Here is a list of public officials:
- Police Officers
- District Attorneys
- City councilman
A bribe is a gift, a promise, or anything of value that’s given to a public official with the intent to influence his action or lack thereof. A bribe may be a sum of money, a favor, a gift, or anything else of value to the individual. Money need not be involved for the prosecution to convict a defendant of bribery.
Additionally, in a bribery case, the parties do not need to come to an agreement for a defendant to be convicted of bribery. All the prosecution has to show is that the defendant attempted to make a bribe even though the party to whom the bribe was offered did not accept.
Bribery is considered to be a serious crime because we expect public officials to be honest and do what’s good for society, so when an individual betrays that trust, the punishment is serious. So, if you’ve been charged with bribery, please contact Bribery Attorney, William Weinberg in Orange County for a quick consultation.Bribery Defenses
Mr. William Weinberg may be able to defend your bribery charges on a few grounds. For example, if the facts of your case support a misinterpretation defense, Mr. Weinberg may be able to argue that the public official mistook your statements as constituting a bribe when in fact you did not intend on making a bribe. This defense is powerful because, to convict an individual, the law requires the prosecution to prove that the defendant intended to influence the actions of a public official. As such, proving that an individual did not intend to make a bribe negates the intent requirement and proves a defendant’s innocence.
A second defense that an individual can make in defense of a charge of bribery is that the defendant did not know that the person to whom he was making the statement was a public official. This defense applies because the law requires the intent to influence a public official and you can’t intend to influence a public official if you didn’t know that they are a public official.
A third defense that may be used is an entrapment defense, which applies in limited circumstances. If a defendant is dealing with an undercover agent who is posing to be a public official, the defendant may be able to defend on the grounds of entrapment. However, to successfully invoke an entrapment defense, the defendant must show that the undercover agent placed too much pressure on the defendant to induce him to commit bribery.Penalty for Bribery
In the State of California, bribery is a felony. If convicted of bribery, an individual can be sentenced to up to four years in State Prison. In addition to imprisonment, any person who bribes a public official or accepts a bribe must forfeit his current office and is disqualified from holding a public office.Extortion vs Bribery
Bribery and extortion are two crimes that are similar but involve a different type of motivation. In a bribery case, a defendant is being friendly by offering something of value to motivate the other party to act in his favor. In extortion, the defendant is using fear as the motivating factor instead of money or a favor.
Again, if you’ve been charged with bribery or you’re being investigated for it, you should immediately contact Bribery Attorney, William Weinberg in Orange County to defend your charges and communicate with law enforcement personnel. Mr. Weinberg can be reached at 1-949-474-8008. He represents private citizens who are accused of bribing public officials, as well as public officials who are accused of taking bribes or soliciting them.