Bribery constitutes a serious offense in California, and the punishments assigned to you by the court could prove detrimental both to your career and your livelihood. Those that request bribes or take bribes both commit offenses if used by or against an official individual. Because government and political employees hold themselves close to the law, bribes can ruin relationships with citizens and voters.
If a court has charged you with a bribery crime, you want to hire an experienced white-collar crime attorney. These attorneys have specific experience in defending these crimes and can accurately present evidence to help you avoid conviction and penalties. Know that if a court accuses you, however, it is California court's responsibility to prove to a judge or jury that you knowingly committed bribery acts.
Eligible individuals for bribery
According to California law, "executive officers" that commit the following acts may face a bribery conviction. You may not accept a bribe and:
- Make decisions because of the bribe
- Vote for a specific individual or party because of the bribe
- Supply a statement to the public because of the bribe
Many individuals experience temptation to give political or governmental leaders gifts or money to persuade them to make specific arrangements, yet aside from donations to a political party, an official accepting gifts may constitute a bribery act.
The burden of proof of the court
The process of proving that an individual committed a bribery offense in California involves the following steps.
- First, the court must prove that the defendant holds a position in the state or a city of California. These individuals include:
- An executive officer
- A ministerial offer
- An employee
- An appointee
- A legislative officer
- A judicial officer
Know that if you allegedly commit bribery, California court must present your case in court to establish proof and guilt. During this process, your attorney will have the opportunity to deny the claims made by the court, so that you can avoid punishments for bribery crimes.