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Bribery Law Questions

Bribery is the act of giving, receiving or the solicitation of something of worth in the attempt to sway the actions of an individual of their legal duties. In order to prove bribery, the prosecutor usually only has to show corrupt intent. Bribery can occur in the private sector as well as in the public sector. Below are just a few of the more commonly asked bribery questions that have been answered by Experts.

What is the difference between lobbying and bribery?

Lobbying is the act of asking, explaining, or encouraging a government official to do something that the lobbyist wants done that wouldn't be considered illegal.

Bribery is an illegal act involving an exchange of money or gifts in an attempt to alter the acts of a person who would normally not be changed. A corrupt act that involves receiving something in an attempt to change a opinion, action, or decision that is not usually swayed.

If the attorney knows or has an idea his client is bribing will the attorney client privilege protect the attorney?

Attorney-Client Privilege was actually created to protect the client and not the attorney. If an attorney is in the middle of representing hi/her client and the client tells the attorney something, the attorney cannot give that information out without the permission from the client. For example, if the client has told his/her attorney that they are bribing someone the attorney wouldn't be able to divulge the information. However, an exception to this would be if the attorney needs to disclose information that would protect witnesses, court officials, jurors, or anyone who would be involved from intimidation or bribery and the attorney knows that these acts will take place if they don't expose the truth.

So, basically, if the bribery isn't affecting a witness or anyone else who is involved in the case, the attorney wouldn't be able to divulge the information about their client.

An attorney cannot play a part in bribery or anything that would appear to be bribery. In a situation like that, the attorney would be guilty of conspiracy to commit bribery and also the crime itself.

If someone solicits a $20,000 bribe to give a vendor a contract what is the crime called and what is the punishment? I live in California.

This would be called "commercial bribery" and is Penal Code 643.1

Usually, when we think about bribery, we think the bribery would involve public officials (judges, mayors, councilmen). Bribery can also happen in the private business area. Labeled as commercial bribery, the charge for this type of crime can be very serious. Not only could a person's reputation be ruined, they could also lose their business and go to jail.

If you find yourself being accuse of commercial bribery, you need to find people who will stand behind you and those who can disengage the accusations.

Can a crime of bribery be committed even if the recipient does not do what the person is offering the bribe asks?

The actual crime of bribery would be the act of compensating a person to do something differently than they normally would. Regardless of whether the person follows through with the initial plan, if they have received money, the person who paid the person has already committed the act of bribery. However, if the person refuses to accept any money from a bribe, then the actual act of bribery hasn't been committed but would be considered attempted bribery.

I have a friend who has a commercial bribery charge, however, my friend did not get the money. The employer confiscated it when my friend was caught in the act. Will my friend be proven guilty of the allegation, and what will be the punishment?

Regardless of whether your friend has or doesn't have the money, it won't change the outcome of the charges. The case will be built on the fact that your friend was accepting a bribe and was in the act of accepting the money. While your friend doesn't have the money from the bribe, his/her employer can still have your friend prosecuted. Your friend may be able to talk to his employer and see if they would drop the charges. Without the testimony of the employer, it would be hard to prosecute your friend and have him/her convicted.

Bribery is an illegal act that can result in stiff fines, damaged reputations as well as jail time. Before getting in a position that would require the assistance of an attorney, you should ask an Expert to help you understand the legal ramifications of a bribery charge.
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