The Kaufman Law Group
310-286-2202

Bribery: What a California court must prove to convict you

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.

  1. 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
  2. Next, the court most prove that the individual took a bribe. The proof could include emails, a video or some other form of documentation.
  3. After, the court must show that because the individual took the bribe, the bribe persuaded him or her to make a biased decision. The exchange may have been expressed or implied, so the individual does not necessarily need to say aloud, “I accept your bribe.”
  4. Last, the court will prove that you acted with unlawful intent.

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.

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The Kaufman Law Group
1801 Century Park E. Suite 1430
Los Angeles, CA 90067

Phone: 310-286-2202
Fax: 310-712-0023
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