BRIBING AN EXECUTIVE , ADMIN OR PUBLIC OFFICER
Bribery of an official is defined as:
- Offering or accepting promises, directly or indirectly, of any compensation, reward, or any other benefit to any executive, administrator or public officer of the State;
- With the intent to influence the officer with respect to any act, decision, vote, opinion, action, or other proceeding.
In other words, bribery is a two-way street. Both the person offering the bribe, and the person accepting the bribe are both guilty of bribery in Nevada, so long as they both intend, and understand, that the promise or compensation is in exchange for the act, decision, vote, opinion, action or other proceeding.
Please Note: The crime of bribery is not the same as the crime of extortion. Bribery consists of an agreement between the two parties. Extortion requires that one party use threats of harm to procure the favor. Either party can be charged with extortion so long as they threaten the other with harm.
What kind of penalty am I looking at if I get convicted of bribery?
In Nevada, the crime of bribery of a an executive, admin, or public officer is a misdemeanor in Nevada and carries with it:
- A sentence of between one and five years in Nevada State Prison; and
- Fines up to $10,000.
Please Note: If you are prosecuted under the Federal bribery laws, the penalty may be as much as 15 years in prison as well as a fine up to three times the value of the bribe.
Are there any defenses if I’ve been charged with bribery?
The defintion of bribery is intentionally vague and as such, there are a variety of defenses that may apply, depending on the specific facts of your case.
- No Intent – As noted above, bribery of an executive, admin., or officer of the State requires intent to bribe. If you have been charged with bribing an officer of the State, but your offer of benefit was not intended to procure any kind of influence over an act, decision, vote, opinion, action, or other proceeding, then the charges should be dropped;
- Donation – Giving money to a public official for the purposes of contributing to the officer’s campaign, so long as the donation was not made for the purpose of procuring special treatment or other favors, is not considered bribery. If you didn’t offer the donation or ask for money in exchange for a government action, then the charges should be dropped;
- No Adverse Influence – If the prosecutor cannot show that the alleged bribe posed no threat of adverse influence over the official, then the charges should be dropped.
Are there other types of bribery?
Yes. The following is a list of some of the other types of bribery. Each of them will be discussed in its own section.
- Commercial bribery;
- Bribery of or by Judges or Jurors;
- Bribery of or by Witnesses;
- Sports Bribery.
If you have been charged with bribery, you should contact an attorney immediately so you can discuss possible defenses.