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Bribery of Executive Officers or Public Employees

July 21, 2016

When it comes to the penal code, it’s actually pretty easy to get confused over the letter of the law, making understanding what’s on the page that much more difficult. When you look at it, the reason behind this is pretty clear–the penal code wasn’t written for the average person but rather for lawyers who have literally years of experience decoding and applying the law under their belts. With all of that said, it’s definitely possible to make sense of the law by breaking it down into easy to manage chunks and then proceeding that way. In this post we’re going to take a look at the charge of Bribery of Executive Officers or Public Employees, the definitions involved, some of the punishments, and the defenses that you can use in your case.

Bribery of Executive Officers or Public Employees

This charge is basically when some sort of public official takes part in a corrupt activity in order to receive money or something else of value. The important thing to note, of course, is that the crime of bribery does in fact go both ways. You can be convicted of this crime for either offering a bribe to a public official or accepting one if you happen to be a public official. When it comes to charges of bribery, this can apply if one of the parties involved is an executive officer, or a ministerial officer/public employee, or an officer and public employee. The definition is fairly broad and the net that covers these charges is wide. In all cases, though, this is a crime that’s charged as a felony. Again, to be considered covered under this crime, something of value has to have been offered with corrupt intent to one of the officials we spoke about earlier. If you don’t have the item of value involved or the corrupt intent, it doesn’t constitute a crime. In all of these cases as well, the penalties will include imprisonment, fines, as well as forfeiture of office should you be a public official, and disqualification from holding any future office. As facing a felony can be a pretty serious thing to do, it’s important to take into account some of the defenses you have on your side. Let’s take a look at these defenses now to see where you stand.

Defenses

One of the main defenses when it comes to the charge of Bribery of Executive Officers or Public Employees is to claim that you didn’t have corrupt intent when offering what amounted to a bribe. Another thing to consider is the question of whether you were entrapped, if there was coercion there, or maybe if intoxication was a factor. When you take all of these things into account, it will definitely be possible for you to get your charges reduced or even dropped altogether.

As you can see, it’s actually not that hard to understand the penal code once you break it down into manageable chunks that make sense as opposed to the somewhat complicated legalese that you’ll encounter in the law itself. This applies to any law, of course, not just the charge of Bribery of Executive Officers or Public Employees. With all of that being said, if you’re facing some kind of legal trouble and believe that one of the legal defenses that we talked about earlier in this post might apply to you, it’s definitely important that you get in touch with the right legal counsel for the job. So get in touch with us as soon as possible and we’ll get the situation taken care of.

Bribery of Judges or Jurors

The law is designed to protect the sanctity of the judicial process. One of the most important tenets of the law, then, is to keep people from unduly influencing the people who will decide on the outcome of cases. In New York, as in the rest of the country, it’s illegal to bribe judges or jurors in a court proceeding. Some of the most important cases in the history of the court have come on bribery charges, with the bribing citizens and the bribe-taking judges both ending up on trial for the crime. Those who have been charged with briber of judges or jurors need good defense lawyers to wade through the difficult issues at play.

The elements of the crime
To prove that you are guilty of bribery of judges or jurors, the prosecution will have to prove a number of different elements. For one, the prosecution must prove that you’ve given a bribe to a juror or judge. Importantly, the prosecution must prove that you did so with “corrupt intent,” a state of mind element that requires the state to link you to nefarious conduct. In addition, the prosecution has to prove that you gave the bribe in an effort to influence the behavior or decision of the judge or jury member.

Does the judge or juror have to rule in my favor?
It’s important to understand that you can be charged and convicted whether a judge or juror acts on the bribe or not. In many cases, the judge or juror will be the person to report your bribe. The judge or juror acting on the bribe is not an element of the crime. The crime’s elements focus almost exclusively on your own conduct rather than focusing attention on what happens after you commit the bribe.

Bribery in any case
Bribery of judges or jurors does not have to be in your own case. You can be charged and convicted for seeking to intervene in any case, whether you have a direct interest or not. In most cases where people are charged, they will either have a direct interest in the case or they will be acting on behalf of a friend or family member. Even if the bribe is in one’s own financial interests, the state can still charge the crime and get a conviction. It’s a wide statute that allows for prosecution of any person who seeks to place undue influence on the process.

Defending against bribery charges
There are many ways that criminal defense lawyers help to defend against claims of bribery. It may be possible to take these cases to trial, arguing either that a bribe didn’t place or that there was no corrupt intent behind the bribe. In other cases, it may make sense to come up with a plea agreement that best serves the interests of the accused. Good lawyers take each case individually and follow the client’s lead in either going forward with a trial or seeking the best deal through negotiations with the state.

Bribery of judges or jurors is a felony that can land a person in prison for many years. Prosecutors routinely take these charges seriously because they erode the judicial process. People who have been accused should seek criminal defense counsel as soon as possible. The earlier you have legal assistance, the easier it will be to come up with a sophisticated plan to defend against the charges.

Bribery of NY Legislators or Elected Officials

It’s often the case when you’re looking at the penal code that you might get caught up in some of the complicated language of what’s on the book and lose sight entirely of what the actual meaning behind these words is. It’s not too difficult to see why this is the case, as the law as it is wasn’t necessarily written for the average person but rather for attorneys who have years of experience at not just implementing these laws for their clients but also interpreting them and figuring out what they mean. With all of that said, it’s definitely possible for you to make some sense of these laws in order to do what’s best for your individual case. In this post we’re going to do this while looking at the charge of Bribery of NY Legislators or Elected Officials–its definitions, punishments, and defenses.

Bribery of NY Legislators or Elected

Bribery is actually one of the charges that are more broadly defined in general. It of course applies should you be an elected official who’s accepting something of value in return for special treatment or something of the sort, but it applies just as readily to offering said bribe to an elected official as well. In order for this charge to apply, there’d have to be something of value given over with a corrupt intention to influence a legislator’s vote in some kind of official proceeding. This charge covers state legislators, members of a city’s legislative body, members of a county’s legislative body, and also members of a school district’s legislative body. It’s important to note that this law also covers acts like menace and deceit. If one of those is used to influence a legislator’s vote, it’s just as culpable as actually giving a bribe. Along with this, it’s a crime for one legislator to condition their vote based on the vote of another legislator. This is treated as a felony across the board, so there are some fairly stiff penalties when it comes to punishing this particular crime. These can include imprisonment, some sort of fine, the forfeiture of your office, and disqualification from holding any kind of future office. Now if you are convicted of this crime, you can be sent to state prison for anywhere between two and four years. There’s also a chance you might have to pay a restitution fine as well. If the bribe wasn’t received, this amount will be between $2,000 and $10,000, and if the bribe was received this will be at least the amount of the bribe received or $2,000, whichever is the greater amount, or any larger amount of no more than twice the amount of the bribe that was received or $10,000, whichever is the greater amount.

Defenses

When it comes to defenses that you can use in the charge of Bribery of NY Legislators or Elected Officials, you could assert that there was no intent to pass along a bribe, that you were entrapped in some way, that you were coerced, or even that there was intoxication involved.

As you can see, once you break down the law into easy to manage chunks, it’s not that hard to use it to your advantage and figure out how to mount a legal defense. So if one of the defenses that we mentioned earlier seems like it would align well with your particular case, it’s best that you reach out to the right counsel for the job. With years of experience at interpreting the law and then using that knowledge to help our clients, we’d be ready and willing to help you.

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