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When it comes to the letter of the law in California’s penal code, often what you’ll find there is complicated at best and convoluted at worst. It’s anyone’s guess as to why this is the case, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be this way. In fact, when you break the law down into easily digestible parts, the whole thing goes from being a daunting exercise in trying to understand a mountain of legalese to being able to understand the charges involved and begin to mount your defense. In this post we’re going to take a look at California law when it comes to bribery of California legislators or elected officials, get into some definitions, the punishments, and figure out a way that you can defend yourself. Let’s get started with a few definitions.
Definitions for Bribery of California Legislators or Elected Officials
The word bribe is pretty broadly defined in California law. A bribe happens when a legislator or elected lawmaker trades their vote for money, or something else of value. This charge goes both ways: You can be charged for either offering or accepting a bribe, both with stiff consequences. Now that we’ve gotten the definitions out of the way, let’s have a look at the punishments involved.
Punishments for Bribery of California Legislators or Elected Officials
Like we said before, being charged with this crime carries a pretty stiff penalty. In fact, the conviction includes possible imprisonment, fines, forfeiture of whatever office you hold, and disqualification from any kind of future office. If you end up being convicted of the crime of bribery, you can end up being sent to state prison for two to four years. You might even end up having to pay a restitution fine to make up for the amount of the bribe, and that can involve a charge between $2,000 and $10,000 is the bribe wasn’t actually received, or else at least the amount of bribe that was received or $2,000, whichever is the greater amount, or any larger amount that isn’t more than the amount you received or $10,000, whichever amount is greater. Along with that, again, it’s important to keep in mind that you’ll have to forfeit any kind of office you might have at the time, and this is also going to forfeit you from any future office that you might want to hold in the future. So now that we have an understanding as to the severity of the charges for this crime, let’s figure out how you can defend against it.
Defense for Bribery of California Legislators or Elected Officials
Like we’ve said before, there are a few possible defenses that you can claim if you’re looking to avoid potential charges when it comes to this crime. These include claiming that you didn’t have the intent to offer or accept a bribe, that this was a case of entrapment, that you were coerced to do this, or that you were intoxicated when the so-called bribe took place. As you can see, you’ve got options when it comes to defending yourself from charges of this crime.
No matter what, we’ve got you covered.
As you can see, breaking down the letter of the law into its key components makes it so much easier to not only understand the law but actually get it to work in your favor. So if you’re currently facing some legal trouble or think that you might be facing some in the future, you should reach out and get in contact with us today. We’ll make sure you’re taken care of.