If you think that you will get away with giving out services or products from your job without your employer knowing, you may have some success. But you also could face serious repercussions if you are caught. Any product or service that is worth more than $1,000 that you unlawfully provide to another party under the table could result in commercial bribery charges. This behavior is commonly called providing kickbacks. The state of California punishes individuals arrested, charged, and convicted of commercial bribery with jail time.
To defend against bribery charges in California, you will need a knowledgeable and competent defense. David M. Boertje is a San Diego criminal defense attorney who has extensive experience helping individuals charged with crimes fight to overcome them and secure the most favorable outcome possible.
What Happens if You are Charged with Bribery in California?
When an employee knowingly takes a product or service to their own benefit without the consent and permission of the owner of the business they work for and offers it to another party this is considered bribery. It is not just the person who is fraudulently offering the valued product or services that can be arrested and charged. The parties that accept these products or services can also be arrested and charged.
For a commercial bribe to take place, an individual intentionally tries to insert influence with the goal of defrauding the business for which they work. Commercial bribery is considered to be a corrupt act and the value of the property that was used in the dishonest transaction will determine how severe the penalties are.
Products or services that are $1,000 or more can result in a misdemeanor-level crime. This crime comes with prison time that can be as long as one year. When the products or services are high-value, the crime can be moved up to the felony level. Felony bribes can put a person in state prison for up to three years.
Successfully combating bribery charges can be done with a targeted and strategic approach. A talented San Diego criminal defense attorney will be able to scrutinize your case and find areas that can be advantageous for your defense. Some of the arguments that could potentially be made include:
- Your employer knew that the transactions were taking place.
- You did not have corrupt intent when you were engaging in the transactions.
- The amount of the product or service in question was under $250 and therefore does not incur criminal penalties.
The time spent behind bars and the establishment of a criminal record can be very damaging to one’s life after they serve their time. Being able to have your charges dropped, or at the very least reduced is the ultimate objective. Continue reading