If you’ve been arrested for bribery in Texas, the first thing you’ll need to do is understand exactly what you’ve been charged with. Bribery is a crime in which one person intentionally offers, solicits, accepts, or agrees to accept money, gifts, or services from another party in order to benefit them. For example, it would be considered a bribe if a citizen offered a police officer monetary gift in exchange for them looking the other way in regards to criminal offense. Though the general definition of bribery is universal, bribery laws can vary depending on that state you’re in.
Texas Bribery Laws
Citizens may look to Section 36.02 of the Texas Penal Code when looking for the full description of the state’s bribery laws. The basic definition states that an individual is guilty of bribery when a person intentionally offers, solicits, accepts, or condones any of the following, knowingly:
- Any benefit for the recipient’s decisions, opinion, recommendation, vote, or other exercise of power as a public servant, party official, or voter.
- Any benefit for the recipient’s decisions, opinion, recommendation, vote, or other exercise of official discretion in a judicial or administrative proceeding.
- Benefits exchanged for a duty of a public servant or party official that has been legally defined.
What Is the Punishment for Bribery in Texas?
Bribery is considered to be a crime of a financial nature and thus deemed a white-collar crime. The punishment for bribery in Texas could carry jail time as well as a hefty fine. Bribery is usually treated as a second-degree felony in the state, and a conviction requires two to 20 years in prison, and a fine of up to $10,000. It’s important to note that the fine can vary depending on the circumstances, but it is not dependent on the amount that was involved in the actual bribe.
Criminal bribery charges are commonly accompanied with allegations of blackmail and extortion—although this is totally reliant on your specific situation and is not always the case. If a bribery case involves a federal or state officer, whether they’re the perpetrator or the victim, the case could carry significantly heavier penalties. The same applies if a government official is involved in the crime. If the official is foreign, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) could also become applicable.
The statute of limitation for bribery in Texas is three years. However, there are periods when this statute of limitation may be suspended. For example, if the accused is out of state, it may be suspended to give the state extra time to start legal proceedings.
Bail for Bribery Charge in Texas
If you or a loved one has been arrested in Texas and are in need of bail for bribery charges, PCS Bail Bonds can help you. With over 25 years of courthouse experience, you can depend on us to get you out of jail as fast as possible. Our licensed bail bond agents are able to serve all jails within Tarrant County, Texas, and can be at the jail to assist you in as little as 30 minutes. Contact us today for more information.