Commercial Bribery Penal Code 641.3 PC
According to California Penal Code Section 641.3 (a) an employee who solicits, accepts, or agrees to accept money or anything of value from a person other than his employer, corruptly and without the knowledge or consent of the employer, in return for using his position for the benefit of that other person, is guilty of commercial bribery.
What Must The Prosecutor Prove to Be Found Guilty of Penal Code Section 641.3 Commercial Bribery?
Prosecutor must establish the following elements to prove a charge of Penal Code 641.3 PC commercial bribery:
- The defendant is an employee who with the intent to defraud or injure solicits, accepts, or agrees to accept;
- Money or anything else greater than $250;
- From a person who is not an employer;
- Without the consent and knowledge of the employer; and
- In return for using his position to convey a benefit for that person.
Penal Code Section 641.3 PC applies similarly to employees receiving or soliciting bribes and to the person offering bribes. The commercial bribery statute is based on the concept of fiduciary duty between an employer and his employees. The purpose of PC Section 641.3 is to punish individuals who conduct actions to undermine the employer’s interests for receiving money or anything else of value that personally benefits them.
Related Offenses to Bribery
- Penal Code 67 and 68 Bribery of an Executive Officer/Public Employee;
- Penal Code 85 and 86 Bribery of or by Legislators;
- Penal Code 92 and 93 Bribery of Judges and Jurors; and
- Penal Code 138 and 139 Bribery of or by Witnesses
Legal Defenses to California PC Section 641.3 (A) Charges
The main defense to commercial bribery charges is that there is no evidence that the employee or the person who pays the bribe had corrupt intent.
Penalties for a Commercial Bribery Penal Code Section 641.3
Commercial bribery can be charged as either a felony or a misdemeanor depending on the amount of the bribe.
Penalties for Misdemeanor Commercial Bribery Conviction
If the value of the bribe is less than $1,000 the defendant will be charged with a misdemeanor and the following penalties include:
- up to 1 year in a county jail
Penalties for Felony Commercial Bribery Conviction
If the value of the bribe is $1,000 or more the defendant will be charged with a felony and the following penalties include:
- 16 months, two or three either in a county jail or California state prison
If the victim suffered monetary losses a court can also order restitution pursuant to California PC Sections 1202.4(a) and (f). Civil damages can also be recovered under California Civil Code Section 3281 if the employer suffered a loss.
Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney
If you or a loved one has been charged with commercial bribery, we invite you to contact our Los Angeles criminal defense attorney at (310) 943-1171 for a free consultation.