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The crime of bribery of executive officers or public employees falls under a broad-reaching legal code. Penal Codes 67 and 68 PC states that any district attorney, police chief, building inspector or traffic clerk who accepts a bribe of any kind, in the course of doing their job, can be charged and convicted of the crime of bribery. Because of the wide range of things of value that could be considered a bribe, bribery is one of the most common offenses for which public officials are convicted. Bribery does not have to be monetary, it can be vacation tickets, or a new roof for the house, etc.
Bribery is a serious offense that can not only damage your career and reputation, but it can also land you in jail.
What exacerbates bribery charges is the complex nature of the law that can be difficult to interpret at times. This is why it is immensely important for you to contact a reputable and experienced attorney who understands California bribery law if you have been charged with the crime of bribery. At our law firm, we have experienced attorneys who are familiar with bribery laws, and we can help prepare an adequate defense for your case. Our attorneys will be able to navigate through the complexity of the case, identifying any discrepancies in the evidence, as well as uncovering evidence that may not have been discovered at the time you were charged.
Having an experienced attorney represent you provides a buffer between those who are looking to potentially take away your freedom and reputation, ensuring that you are not left to defend yourself on your own.
The Basic Legal Definition of a Bribe
Under California penal code, bribery is broadly defined as any act in which a public official accepts anything of value with corrupt intent. If an official accepts anything of value that could, in essence, impact a decision or action, they have committed the crime of bribery. It is important to understand that bribery is a crime that is punishable on both sides of the transaction. The person offering, and the person receiving a bribe are both guilty of bribery.
Additionally, the bribe does not actually have to take place for you to be charged with the crime of bribery. Offering either a bribe or agreeing to accept a bribe is considered just cause for being charged with the crime of bribery.
Penal Code 67 PC Bribery of Executive Officers
Penal Code 67 PC makes it a felony to bribe or offer a bribe to any executive officer. Executive officers include:
Penal Code 68 PC — Bribery of Public Employees
Penal Code 68 PC makes it a felony to offer or give a bribe to public employees, which includes any public employee, such as a traffic clerk or court clerk, etc.
Legitimate Defenses against Bribery Charges
There are certain legitimate defenses against bribery charges, including:
Mounting a successful defense against bribery can be a difficult endeavor that often boils down to who the jury finds most believable. This makes it paramount to hire an experienced and reputable attorney who will be able to present your case to a jury in a manner that is believable — effectively shedding the proper light on what actually transpired.
If you or a loved one has been charged with bribery, you should contact our offices immediately to schedule your initial consultation, so that we can review the details of the case, and start the process of building your defense.