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Bribery is a common topic in the media, typically portrayed as individuals meeting in a dark alley to exchange money for political favors or other actions. However, bribery is actually a lot more common than people might think. Even seemingly innocent gestures can sometimes qualify as bribery depending on the circumstances.

If you find yourself facing bribery charges, an Oakland bribery lawyer could be an excellent resource as you start planning your defense against these charges. Having a dedicated attorney by your side to help you understand some basic information about bribery charges could help start important discussions about how you can defend against those charges. En Español.

How State Law Defines Bribery Offenses

Bribery is the act of trying to influence another individual through the provision of money—or some type of gift or compensation—in order to induce that person to do something that you want them to. The law is most commonly applied to public officials, which means you could be charged with bribery for engaging in this type of conduct with a judge, a city councilperson, a prosecutor, or even a police officer. Depending on the circumstances, a bribery case may even involve jury members or witnesses in a court case.

It is important to note that the person being offered a bribe only needs to have apparent authority to act upon the request of the person presenting the bribe. Whether the individual can actually follow through with the request does not affect the charges. Bribery charges can also result if a bribe is rejected. In other words, offering compensation for a specific outcome can result in bribery charges even if the individual to whom you made the offer rejects the bribe.

Non-Public Bribery

As bribery typically involves a public official, the state takes bribery charges very seriously, so retaining a qualified Oakland bribery lawyer is almost always a good choice. However, there are other forms of bribery that also may result in bribery charges.

For instance, commercial bribery is also a crime in Oakland covered under California Penal Code §641.3. This occurs when an employee accepts compensation from someone other than their employer in order to use his or her position in a way that benefits someone other than that employer.

Possible Penalties for an Oakland Bribery Conviction

As with most criminal charges, the penalties associated with conviction depend heavily on the circumstances of the case. While serious, a first bribery offense involving a small amount of money may have a different outcome than a first offense involving an intricate scheme to pay off public officials. Likewise, subsequent offenses would likely be dealt with more harshly.

If you are convicted on bribery charges, you could face heavy fines as well as sentencing in county jail or state prison. Public officials would likely have to forfeit their office after being convicted of bribery.

Even if the consequences for an act like commercial bribery end up being less severe, there is still enough at stake to warrant consulting an Oakland bribery lawyer about your options. For instance, a commercial bribery conviction could result in the loss of a professional license and is likely to be damaging to your professional reputation.

Contact an Oakland Bribery Attorney Today

Criminal charges can be intimidating, and bribery charges are certainly no exception. However, you do not have to face these charges alone. Remember that you still have rights and that an experienced Oakland bribery lawyer who understands important nuances in the law and how to apply them to your case is available to help you.

It is essential to take a thorough and dynamic approach to building your defense against bribery charges, and that often starts by working with an experienced attorney. If you are facing bribery charges, call today to schedule a consultation and start understanding more about the options that might be available to you.

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