Bribery is actually one of the charges that are more broadly defined in general. It of course applies should you be an elected official who’s accepting something of value in return for special treatment or something of the sort, but it applies just as readily to offering said bribe to an elected official as well. In order for this charge to apply, there’d have to be something of value given over with a corrupt intention to influence a legislator’s vote in some kind of official proceeding. This charge covers state legislators, members of a city’s legislative body, members of a county’s legislative body, and also members of a school district’s legislative body. It’s important to note that this law also covers acts like menace and deceit. If one of those is used to influence a legislator’s vote, it’s just as culpable as actually giving a bribe. Along with this, it’s a crime for one legislator to condition their vote based on the vote of another legislator. This is treated as a felony across the board, so there are some fairly stiff penalties when it comes to punishing this particular crime. These can include imprisonment, some sort of fine, the forfeiture of your office, and disqualification from holding any kind of future office. Now if you are convicted of this crime, you can be sent to state prison for anywhere between two and four years. There’s also a chance you might have to pay a restitution fine as well. If the bribe wasn’t received, this amount will be between $2,000 and $10,000, and if the bribe was received this will be at least the amount of the bribe received or $2,000, whichever is the greater amount, or any larger amount of no more than twice the amount of the bribe that was received or $10,000, whichever is the greater amount.
When it comes to defenses that you can use in the charge of Bribery of NY Legislators or Elected Officials, you could assert that there was no intent to pass along a bribe, that you were entrapped in some way, that you were coerced, or even that there was intoxication involved.
As you can see, once you break down the law into easy to manage chunks, it’s not that hard to use it to your advantage and figure out how to mount a legal defense. So if one of the defenses that we mentioned earlier seems like it would align well with your particular case, it’s best that you reach out to the right counsel for the job. With years of experience at interpreting the law and then using that knowledge to help our clients, we’d be ready and willing to help you.