Bribery is a type of corruption, and it can be exercised in business, governmental or political sectors. In many situations, it can be charged as a serious crime. If you have been accused of bribery in California, it is important that you first gain a good understanding of the elements of the crime. From there, you will be able to apply this knowledge to your situation and go about building a defense.
Bribery is the act of offering a person something of value in exchange for influence. A bribe can come in the form of gifts and money, but it can also be in the form of services, favors and privileges. The following are some of the elements of the crime of bribery and the possible defense options.
The elements of a bribery charge
To be found guilty of bribery, it must be shown that something of value has been offered in exchange for something else of value. When this is done in a business or a political context, it can be illegal.
Cases of bribery against federal employees involve much more specific elements. It must additionally be shown that the public official being offered something of value has an adequate amount of authority or power to commit the act that they were allegedly being bribed to do. Intent should also be proven, and there should be a clear connection between the payment and the act.
The common defenses to bribery charges
You should remember that the prosecutor will have the burden of proof when it comes to showing that you committed bribery. To successfully defend yourself, you do not necessarily need to prove that you are innocent, but you only need to create doubt that you committed the act. You may be able to argue that you simply gave a gift to a friend and that you expected nothing in return. You could also attempt to argue that there was no criminal intent regarding the situation, but that two acts were unrelated occurrences.
Defense options can be limited for those who have been accused of bribery. You should take swift action to learn more about the law and to build a compelling defense.