Bribery vs illegal gratuity: How are they different

On Behalf of | Mar 6, 2024 | Bribery

Bribery and gratuity can be confusing terms. If you are charged with any of these crimes, it’s crucial to be informed to know your way forward.

Here is what to know:

How do they differ?

The intent involved is the element that differentiates bribery and illegal gratuity. With both crimes, something of value is given to a public official or a person selected to be a public official. However, with bribery, the intention is “in return for.” The giver intends to influence any official act, and the recipient’s intent is to be influenced in the performance of any official act.

The purpose of an illegal gratuity is ” for or because of” any official act performed or to be performed by the public official or person who received it. Essentially, it’s like a reward for a decision – it’s not given to influence the decision.

Bribery is for a future official act, whereas illegal gratuity can be for a past or future official act.

How are they similar? 

Bribery and illegal gratuity are similar in several ways. Primarily, the same basic elements have to be proved during these crimes. These include the recipient party should be a public official or a person selected to be a public official and an act of demanding, seeking, receiving, accepting, or agreeing to receive or accept a thing of value should have occurred.

Further, a prosecutor should prove that the act was for the benefit of the recipient with the requisite connection to an official act and with the requisite intent. Additionally, with both crimes, the act can occur directly or indirectly. 

If you are charged with bribery or illegal gratuity, consider legal guidance to protect your reputation.

FindLaw Network
Gary Jay Kaufman
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