Are You Facing A Charge Of Public Corruption Or Bribery In The State Of California?
Our Criminal Lawyers are among the Elite CA Certified Criminal Attorneys
Whether you are accused as a public official of conspiracy, embezzlement or bribery, public corruption is most often charged as a felony, punishable by imprisonment and harsh fines. Conviction can destroy your career and reputation as a professional and a person of good standing, and a solid criminal defense strategy is the only way out.
In the state of California, public corruption is defined as the breach of public trust, or abuse of a government position by federal, state, local or private sector officials. Corruption often involves the giving or receiving of a bribe between public or private sector organizations or individuals to corruptly influence the official in the course of their official duties.
In bribery cases, there is no requirement that a transaction actually took place. You only need to consider a bribe and act upon that consideration to be convicted.
California Bribery & Public Corruption Laws: Public Employees, Elected Officials, Jurors…
Society, lawmakers and courts consider bribery to be especially objectionable crime, reflected in the large number of statutes regarding bribery listed in the California Penal Code:
- Bribery of Public Employees (67PC, 68PC)
- Bribery of Elected Legislators (85PC, 86PC)
- Bribery of Judges or Jurors (92PC, 93PC)
- Bribery of Witnesses (137PC, 138PC)
- Bribery of County Supervisors (165PC)
- Commercial Bribery (641.3PC)
California corruption and bribery laws are broadly defined and the cases are typically complex. On top of bribery charges, criminal cases often more criminal violations including conspiracy, embezzlement, extortion, kickbacks, and money laundering or tax fraud. Because of the complex legal proceedings and grey areas involved in corruption cases, it is crucial you select a California defense lawyer who has the experience and legal expertise necessary to defend both State and Federal public corruption cases.
Our Criminal Lawyers Turn the Tables on an often-Corrupt California Legal System
Tully & Weiss Law Firm's outstanding record of Not Guilty verdicts in criminal trials revolves in part around the knowledge that the State of California often ignores your Constitutional right to be “guilty until proven innocent” in a sometimes corrupt criminal justice system and the steadfast motivation to combat prosecutors' attempts to bully guilty pleas without proving their case.
Our attorneys dive deep to detect foul play and hold law enforcement and the prosecution accountable every step of the way.
Located in Contra Costa, California, Tully & Weiss corruption defense attorneys provide counsel in Alameda County, Santa Clara, and throughout the state.
California Criminal Laws: Our Elite Defense Lawyers Help With All Charges
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What Penalties are Possible with a California Public Corruption or Bribery Conviction?
Federal and State law take public corruption crimes seriously and the penalties for involvement in a public corruption crime can be severe. In most cases, bribery with corrupt intent is a felony, punishable by:
- Up to 20 years' incarceration in County jail or California State prison; and perhaps
- A fine of up to $10,000; including
- Order to pay restitution (often the amount of the transaction); and typically
- Permanent surrender of public office position
A public corruption conviction can cause irreparable damage to your professional and family relationships and career. Ten-year Fresno County deputy public defender and one of Northern California top criminal defense trial lawyers, attorney Jack Weiss, and recent Vice Chair of the Criminal Law Section of the Contra Costa Bar Association, attorney Joseph Tully, have over four decades of criminal defense experience, representing more than 1000 clients facing criminal felony charges. Don't let the prosecution get ahead of you.
What Legal Defense Strategies Are Possible to Fight A Public Corruption Or Bribery Charge?
In order for you to be guilty of bribery in a US or California public corruption case, the prosecution is required to prove that you bribed an individual or accepted a bribe from an individual beyond a reasonable doubt.
Your California public corruption defense attorney will work hard to disprove each and every element of the crime: (1) you gave or offered to give a public officer – or a public officer asked, received, or agreed to receive, (2) an object of value, (3) with corrupt intent, (4) in order to influence an official matter.
In defending a charge of public corruption, the defense's success relies heavily on the skill to convey the situation dynamics to the jury. It is therefore crucial that you bring on a highly-experienced and skilled California public corruption lawyer as soon as possible to begin assembling a proactive, strategic defense. Some common defense strategies used in public corruption and bribery cases include:
Lack of Corrupt Intent: Corrupt intent is the key requirement to a conviction for public corruption, and the prosecutor may use any degree of relevant evidence (direct or circumstantial) to prove it existed. If prosecution cannot prove corrupt intent, there can be no conviction.
Misunderstanding: The acts in question can potentially be interpreted in a number of ways. If the defense team can demonstrate to the court that the events were misinterpreted as bribery, a conviction can be avoided.
Intoxication: With the corrupt intent requirement being of such importance in a public corruption charge, voluntary intoxication can provide a valid legal defense. If you were so intoxicated that you could not have formed the required intent, you cannot be convicted of bribery.
Statute of Limitations: According to California law, the statute of limitations (the time following the alleged act the State has to file a criminal charge) is normally six years for most charges of public corruption. This may be a legal defense if the act of bribery occurred over six years prior to the charge.
Entrapment: If the bribery or any element of the crime of bribery was influenced by a police officer or investigator and would not have happened without their coercion, entrapment can serve as a powerful legal defense. You can read more on the corrupt California justice system, racial prejudice, and despicable police activity as well as how to defend your liberty and reputation in a broken criminal justice system in California: State of Collusion by California criminal defense lawyer Joseph Tully.
Recognized nationwide for his hard-hitting Federal and State criminal trial experience involving tough prosecutors and complex legal proceedings, attorney Joseph Tully has received the distinguished appointment as California Criminal Law Specialist by the California State Bar.
Our team works tirelessly to build aggressive defense strategies for high-profile clients while simultaneously preserving their respected public image. Connect with a Tully & Weiss California corruption defense lawyer today to discuss your case and start building an effective and powerful defense.