You can be charged with bribery, if it’s alleged that you offer, accept, or agree to accept a benefit in exchange for another’s decision to vote a particular way. Likewise, you can also be charged with bribery if payment is offered or accepted as a means by which to influence a judge. An allegation of bribery can also be sustained, upon a finding that you, in exchange for something of value, influenced a public servant with respect to his exercise of an official duty. Finally, you can be charged with bribery if you make a political contribution, with the understanding that you will thereby receive a benefit.
If you’ve been arrested or charged with bribery, you should call the Dallas criminal defense lawyers at Berlof & Newton, P.C. at 214.827.2800. Our attorneys each have over 15 years of experience in the practice of criminal defense law. Call today, or contact one of our attorneys directly, using the “Get Legal Help Now!” form in the left margin of this web page. Se habla español.
Texas Penal Code Section 36.02 Bribery
(a) A person commits an offense if he intentionally or knowingly offers, confers, or agrees to confer on another, or solicits, accepts, or agrees to accept from another: (1) any benefit as consideration for the recipient’s decision, opinion, recommendation, vote, or other exercise of discretion as a public servant, party official, or voter; (2) any benefit as consideration for the recipient’s decision, vote, recommendation, or other exercise of official discretion in a judicial or administrative proceeding;
(3) any benefit as consideration for a violation of a duty imposed by law on a public servant or party official; or (4) any benefit that is a political contribution as defined by Title 15, Election Code, or that is an expenditure made and reported in accordance with Chapter 305, Government Code, if the benefit was offered, conferred, solicited, accepted, or agreed to pursuant to an express agreement to take or withhold a specific exercise of official discretion if such exercise of official discretion would not have been taken or withheld but for the benefit; notwithstanding any rule of evidence or jury instruction allowing factual inferences in the absence of certain evidence, direct evidence of the express agreement shall be required in any prosecution under this subdivision.
(b) It is no defense to prosecution under this section that a person whom the actor sought to influence was not qualified to act in the desired way whether because he had not yet assumed office or he lacked jurisdiction or for any other reason.
(c) It is no defense to prosecution under this section that the benefit is not offered or conferred or that the benefit is not solicited or accepted until after: (1) the decision, opinion, recommendation, vote, or other exercise of discretion has occurred; or (2) the public servant ceases to be a public servant.
(d) It is an exception to the application of Subdivisions (1), (2), and (3) of Subsection (a) that the benefit is a political contribution as defined by Title 15, Election Code, or an expenditure made and reported in accordance with Chapter 305, Government Code.
(e) An offense under this section is a felony of the second degree. Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 883, ch. 399, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1974. Amended by Acts 1975, 64th Leg., p. 915, ch. 342, Sec. 11, eff. Sept. 1, 1975; Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 3237, ch. 558, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1983; Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 304, Sec. 4.02, eff. Jan. 1, 1992; Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 900, Sec. 1.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1994.
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