If you are facing bribery charges in California, you should know the type of bribery you are accused of committing and the potential penalties. Here’s what you need to know.
What is bribery in California?
According to California statutes, a bribe is something offered, given or taken to influence someone into doing an action favorable to you. It can be in the form of money, a present or a promise for future favors.
Types of bribery
The law prosecutes both the person who takes the bribe and the one who receives it. Types of bribery include the following:
- Bank bribery – Giving anything to an employee or director of a bank is a form of bribery. It can be as simple as a meal, a form of entertainment or even a lift to and from a place. According to California laws, any person who works at a bank could be fined three times the amount accepted as bribery or sent to jail for a period of no more than 30 years.
- Bribing a foreign official – It is illegal for you to give a foreign official anything for favors. In doing so, you will be violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which would come with harsh consequences.
- Bribery by or of a witness – If you receive, accept or demand to be given anything to alter your testimony in court, you can get up to 15 years in jail, plus a fine three times the value of what you received. The person who gives you what you want to change your testimony could be sentenced to a two-year incarceration period and a fine.
- Bribery by or of a public official – It’s a felony for anyone working for the government, whether state or federal, to receive, accept or demand anything in exchange for favors. You can get up to 15 years in prison along with hefty fines.
It’s possible that what was perceived as an act of bribery was simply a misunderstanding. Presenting evidence of your side of the story may help you get the charges reduced or dismissed entirely.