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Bribery

Bribery is a form of corruption, and in the state of California it is considered a serious offense. It is the act of promising, giving, receiving, or agreeing to a certain amount of money to influence the decision of an individual. Normally it is punishable as a felony charge and the official involved doesn't need to actually accomplish the act of giving or receiving the money to be complete. Imagine taking a bribe for $100,000 to fix a voting ballet or even to acquit a charge by giving money to a judge, which would be morally wrong. Not only is it morally wrong but ruins the reputation of several individuals involving the fact of serious ethical concerns. The most important way to tell if someone is asking for a bribe is that they will not give you a receipt. A receipt is an official piece of paper that should contain the name of the organization receiving the money, the date the payment was made and how much money was paid. A receipt shows that you are paying the right amount of money, and the person is not taking money for themselves. California has several bribery charges which are listed below, including the fines and penalties of being sentenced.

California Penal Code 67-68 (Public Employees)

Every person who gives or offers any bribe to any executive officer in this state, with intent to influence him in respect to any act, decision, vote, opinion, or other proceeding as such officer, is punishable by imprisonment in the state prison for two, three or four years, and is disqualified from holding any office in this state.

California Penal Code 85-86 (Elected Legislators)

85. Every person who gives or offers to give a bribe to any Member of the Legislature, any member of the legislative body of a city, county, city and county, school district, or other special district, or to another person for the member, or attempts by menace, deceit, suppression of truth, or any corrupt means, to influence a member in giving or withholding his or her vote, or in not attending the house or any committee of which he or she is a member, is punishable by imprisonment in the state prison for two, three or four years.

86. Every Member of either house of the Legislature, or any member of the legislative body of a city, county, city and county, school district, or other special district, who asks, receives, or agrees to receive, any bribe, upon any understanding that his or her official vote, opinion, judgment, or action shall be influenced thereby, or shall give, in any particular manner, or upon any particular side of any question or matter upon which he or she may be required to act in his or her official capacity, or gives, or offers or promises to give, any official vote in consideration that another Member of the Legislature, or another member of the legislative body of a city, county, city and county, school district, or other special district shall give this vote either upon the same or another question, is punishable by imprisonment in the state prison for two, three, or four years and, in cases in which no bribe has been actually received, by a restitution fine of not less than two thousand dollars ($2,000) or not more than ten thousand dollars ($10,000) or, in cases in which a bribe was actually received, by a restitution fine of at least the actual amount of the bribe received or two thousand dollars ($2,000), whichever is greater, or any larger amount of not more than double the amount of any bribe received or ten thousand dollars ($10,000), whichever is greater. In imposing a fine under this section, the court shall consider the defendant's ability to pay the fine.

California Penal Code 92- 93 (Judges or Jurors)

California Penal Code 137-138 (Witnesses)

California Penal Code 165 (Supervisors & Public Corporations)

California Penal Code 641.3 (Commercial)

You have a perfect defense only if there is room to prove the absence of a corrupt intention.

  • Misunderstanding – It can be a point of defense and may be effective if the jury considers it as a case of misunderstanding.
  • Entrapment – If the idea of corruption was given to the defendant by cops, it can be a powerful legal defense.
  • An act of mistake – Something happened without planning under the influence of a specific situation may be considered as ‘mistake' and can be presented before the jury as a defense.
  • Intoxication – Your ability was impaired due to intoxication so that you were not able to form content.

The General Federal Bribery Statute punishes the offence of bribery in the U.S [iii]. According to 18 USCS prec § 201(b), whoever directly or indirectly, corruptly gives, offers or promises anything of value to any public official with intent to influence that person's official act will be fined for the offence of bribery. The punishment prescribed by the statue is a fine of an amount not more than three times the monetary equivalent of the thing of value, or imprisonment for not more than fifteen years, or both. Additionally he/she can be disqualified from holding any office of honor, trust, or profit under the U.S government.

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