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New York Bribery Frequently Asked Questions

What is bribery?

There are two types of bribery crimes - offering a bribe and receiving a bribe. Offering a bribe involves giving or offering a public servant money or some other type of benefit in exchange for influencing action related to the public servant’s position. Receiving a bribe involves a public servant accepting or agreeing to accept money or some other type of benefit with the understanding that in doing so he (or she) will be influenced. There are 3 degrees of bribery charges and 3 degrees of bribe receiving charges. The value of the benefit involved and the type of action the bribe was intended to influence will determine the charge.

Does a bribe have to involve money?

While many may assume that a bribe must involve an offer or request for cash, in reality, if you offer another person any type of benefit, you can face bribery charges. While you may not have intended to offer a bribe, words are easily misinterpreted and may be perceived as you offering a bribe. If you have been accused of offering a bribe or receiving a bribe, you will need the help of an experienced New York bribery lawyer to ensure that your legal rights are protected, and to ensure the best possible outcome of your case.

For example, Harry wants to influence the outcome of a school board vote that would have the effect of significantly benefiting his business. He ran into school board member Jerry at a fundraiser. After chatting with Jerry, Harry got the impression that Jerry was not going to support his position. Harry casually offered Jerry 2 premium seats to a professional basketball game. Jerry immediately assumed that Harry was offering him a bribe in order to sway his vote. Harry was soon arrested for bribery. Harry immediately contacted a bribery attorney in New York to defend him against the bribery charges.

What is bribery in the third degree?

Even though bribery in the third degree is the least serious bribery crime, it is still a felony.

If you offer any type of benefit to a public servant in order to influence the public servant’s decisions, vote or the manner in which he (or she) perform his responsibilities, you will face the charge of bribery in the third degree. Bribery in the third degree is a class D felony. If you are convicted of this crime, you are at risk of being sentenced to prison for up to 7 years.

What is bribery in the second degree?

Bribery in the second degree involves the same actions as bribery in the third degree, except that the value of the money or benefit involved is more than $10,000. Bribery in the second degree is a class C felony. If you are convicted you face incarceration of up to 15 years.

What is bribery in the first degree?

As a New York bribery lawyer will explain, you will face the charge of bribery in the first degree if your confer, offer to confer, or agree to confer a benefit upon a public servant intended to influence that public servant’s actions related to the investigation, prosecution, or incarceration of a person who committed or was alleged to have committed a class A felony such as murder in the first degree or kidnapping in the first degree. Bribery in the first degree is a class B felony. If you are convicted you face incarceration of up to 25 years.

What is bribe receiving in the third degree?

Bribe receiving in the third degree is similar to bribery in the third degree. The deference is the defendant is not the person offer to confer a benefit, but the person who solicits, accepts or agrees to accept a benefit with the understanding that the way he performs his duty as a public servant will be influenced. Bribe receiving in the third degree is a class D felony with a sentence of up to 7 years in prison.

What is bribe receiving in the second degree?

The charge to a public servant will be raised to bribe receiving in the second degree if the value of the benefit involved is over $10,000. Second degree bribe receiving is a class C felony, and you could be sentenced to up to 15 years in prison.

What is bribe receiving in the first degree?

Bribe receiving involves a public servant demanding, accepting or agreeing to accept a benefit in exchange of having his decision regarding someone accused of a class A felony influenced. First degree bribe receiving is a class B felony, and can result in a prison sentence of up to 25 years.

Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates

If you are facing a bribery charge in New York, contact an experienced bribery attorney. The staff at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates have years of experience successfully defending clients in New York criminal courts charged with felonies and misdemeanors. Contact us at 800.696.9529 to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We serve those accused of crimes in the following locations: the Bronx, Brooklyn, Long Island, Manhattan, Nassau County, Queens, Staten Island, Suffolk County and Westchester County.

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