Bribing California Judges and Jurors
An important component of the criminal justice system is judicial independence. Judges must act impartially and independently, thereby reaching verdicts that are legally justified. If a judge’s ruling is not based on the evidence and is, instead, influenced by illegal practices, innocent people can experience miscarriages of justice. One of such illegal practices is called bribery. This article will provide a brief overview of the crime of offering a bribe to a judge (and juror) and will explain the legal consequences. If you have been accused of bribing a judge or juror, it is vital that you seek the immediate counsel of experienced criminal attorneys. Call us at Law Advocate Group for more information.
The Elements of Bribing
According to California Penal Code 92, the bribery of any judicial officer is illegal. Judicial officers include judges, jurors, arbitrators, umpires, and so on. You might wonder what exactly constitutes bribery – how is it different from something like blackmailing? In order for the prosecution to prove that the defendant did bribe a judicial officer, they must show the defendant having offered or given the judge money or something of value, and then using corrupt intent to influence the judge’s official decision on a legal issue. The corrupt intention is really important. A judge can receive a gift in their personal life if it is not related to their official duties. However, if the valuable thing is offered so as to influence a decision, that is bribery.
Bribing a judicial officer is a very serious offense in California. Bribery can erode the very fundamental aspects of the criminal justice system. As such, bribery is considered to be a felony. If a person is found guilty of having bribed a judicial officer, they can face up to four years in a California state prison and face a lifetime of legal consequences. Therefore, if you are involved in a bribery case, please contact us immediately.