Bribery is a serious criminal offense in California. People convicted of this crime can face a number of years in prison, as well as substantial fines and other penalties. Since bribery can be a felony, the defendant may forfeit certain civil rights, such as the right to possess a firearm or hold public office. A bribery conviction can also be extremely damaging to the defendant’s reputation, effectively ending a political or professional career. If you have been accused of offering or accepting a bribe in violation of California law, San Bernardino and Riverside bribery defense lawyer Gregory H. Comings can assist with your defense. He also handles other types of white collar criminal cases, including fraud, embezzlement, forgery, and extortion.
Under the California Penal Code, it is illegal to offer a public official money, gifts, or other compensation in exchange for an official action; it is also against the law for an official to accept a bribe. This type of bribery might happen when a police officer asks for payment to “look the other way” at an illegal drug operation. Other statutes penalize similar conduct with respect to the private sector. “Commercial” bribery happens when a company’s employee accepts money or gifts in exchange for an action that benefits the person who compensated him or her. (For example, this might describe a purchasing agent who accepts an expensive vacation in exchange for influencing which contractor gets the bid on an upcoming contract.)Defending a Bribery Charge in California
The State has the burden of proving guilt in a criminal case. The defendant does not need to speak to police about the case, nor does he or she need to testify at trial. Sometimes people unwisely waive these rights because they think that they can “talk their way out” of being prosecuted for criminal activity. Instead, someone who is being charged or investigated should consult a bribery defense attorney in Riverside or San Bernardino who can investigate the nuances of the situation and make sure that the defendant does not undermine their own case. Police officers can present a friendly demeanor and may give the defendant the impression that they will be on their side if only the defendant helps them by providing some information to the authorities. In reality, talking to the police about a criminal matter is often tantamount to handing over evidence that will come back to haunt a defendant in court or plea bargaining negotiations.
In addition to attacking the prosecution’s ability to prove each element of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt, a San Bernardino or Riverside bribery defense attorney may be able to make other defenses on behalf of a defendant – such as entrapment, in some cases. This defense can be useful if the defendant was caught up in a sting operation by overzealous police officers in an attempt to “set up” the defendant. Like other white collar crimes, bribery consists of certain technical elements that make it more complex and challenging to prove than some charges.Contact a Bribery Defense Lawyer in the Riverside or San Bernardino Areas
Just because a crime is considered “white collar” does not mean that a person who is convicted will not receive heavy penalties or that the defendant should not be concerned about the consequences. The Law Offices of Gregory H. Comings is here to help people in Southern California who have been accused of bribery or another white collar crime, such as embezzlement, mount an effective defense under the circumstances of their case. To schedule an appointment, call us now at (951) 686-3457 or complete our online form. We offer representation that is both vigorous and candid, making sure that no stone is left unturned in your defense and also that you understand the realistic range of outcomes. You should be aware that the longer that you wait to talk to an experienced criminal defense attorney about your case, the more difficult it may become to defeat or reduce the charges against you.