BRIBERY AND CORRUPT INFLUENCE
Texas Penal Code Chapter 36 covers bribery and corrupt influence offenses, which includes everything from offering a police officer money to let you go after being arrested to threatening a witness if they testify against you. A bribery or corruption conviction can result in punishments ranging from class A misdemeanors to second degree felonies.
BRIBERY AND CORRUPTION OFFENSES INCLUDE:
When a person intentionally or knowingly offers a benefit–including money–to a public servant in exchange for their violation of duty or their exercise of particular discretion. This type of violation is a second degree felony.
Coercion of Public Servant or Voter:
If a person threatens a public servant or voter in an attempt to get them to violate a legal duty or to vote a certain way. This is a class A misdemeanor (unless the coercion is a threat to commit a felony, which makes it a third-degree felony).
Improper Influence: Improper influence occurs when a person privately communicates with a judge or person conducting an administrative hearing with the intent to influence the outcome of the hearing. Punishment is a class A misdemeanor.
Tampering with a Witness:
When a person offers or agrees to pay a benefit for a witness to testify falsely, fails to appear in court, or drops charges against another. It is generally a third-degree felony, but if the tampering occurs in the prosecution of a criminal case, the crime is at the same level as the crime being prosecuted.
Obstruction or Retaliation:
Obstruction/retaliation occurs when a person harms or threatens to harm another because of their status as a public servant, witness, or informant. Punishment is a third-degree felony but is increased to a second-degree felony if the public servant is a juror or if bodily injury occurs to a public servant or a member of his household.
DEFENSES AGAINST BRIBERY CHARGES
It is possible to be charged with bribery when you have taken no illegal actions. In viewing your case and all details involved, Justin Sparks will be able to determine if your situation can be defended by one of the following:
Your payment or offer was a gift and not a bribe
You never offered any real benefit to a public servant
You merely made a request for a certain outcome, but there was no coercion involved
You did not intend to change the testimony of a witness
There is insufficient evidence that you made any threat amounting to retaliation
There is reasonable doubt about the quality of the evidence offered by the prosecution
Justin was my lawyer for a case I had with Tarrant County. He was very responsive, professional, and helped us sooo much! I ended up having everything dismissed. Definitely highly recommend!
- Payton R.
I cannot say enough good things about this law firm! They took care of me and immediately started working my case. They knew exactly what to do as soon as I told them my story.
- Alana B.
HIRE A COMPETENT DEFENSE ATTORNEY
The news media will generally devote a lot of coverage to anyone arrested or charged with bribery or corruption since the allegation involves attempting to buy off or threaten a public servant. Prosecutors, judges, and juries cast a harsh eye toward this kind of conduct, and it is imperative that you seek an attorney who has quality experience in the criminal courts to defend against bribery and corrupt influence charges.
Justin Sparks is a former Tarrant County Assistant District Attorney who has been named a Rising Star in Criminal Defense by Texas Monthly and a Top Attorney in Criminal Law by Fort Worth Magazine for several years. He specializes in criminal defense and will guide you through the criminal justice system. He offers a free consultation to advise you on how he would handle your case.
If you have been convicted of an offense in the Dallas / Fort Worth area and believe that errors or mistakes occurred in the trial court, call the Sparks Law Firm today.