The typical image of bribery involves someone offering cash or perks as a way to procure something illegally. California “bribe-givers” don’t usually operate in a vacuum. Bribery requires more than one participant to occur. The person receiving the bribe may break the law by committing a “passive bribery” action.
Passive bribery vs. active bribery
A person who offers a bribe commits “active bribery” since he or she initiates the dubious financial offer. Turning down a bribe may not get someone into any legal trouble, but accepting a bribe, the act of passive bribery, could lead to criminal charges.
If someone pays the manager of a storage facility to allow unauthorized access to commit thefts, expect the manager to face both civil and criminal repercussions. Persons accused of bribery could face federal or state criminal charges, and additional charges may be added to the case. For example, a defendant may face both bribery and conspiracy charges.
Dealing with bribery charges
A person who has been charged with active or passive bribery still has rights, and a prosecutor must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. If the “passive acceptance” appears vague or unclear, then an attorney could establish reasonable doubt.
Questions about how law enforcement gained evidence may arise. Was there any entrapment involved? If so, then a defense attorney could file a motion to suppress evidence. A lawyer may do the same when it appears law enforcement lacked probable cause or a warrant. If evidence ends up suppressed, a case could fall apart.
A criminal defense attorney could review the specifics of a bribery charge. A lawyer may then discuss a defense strategy with the accused.