Secs 85 and 86 of the California Penal Code define the crime of bribery as the trade of a legislator of their vote for money or something else of value. This particular law covers elected lawmakers of the California State Senate, the California State Assembly or any local city or town councilman.

Under Sec 85, bribery is a felony offense with the following elements:

a) Any person to give or offer to give a legislator;
b) Any item of value;
c) With a corrupt intent;
d) To influence the legislator’s vote in an official matter;

The following individuals are covered in this provision of law:

1) State legislators;
2) Members of city legislative bodies;
3) Members of county legislative bodies;
4) Members of school district legislative bodies;

Not only is an item of value covered under this law. Sec 85 also prohibits the use of corrupt means such as menace, fear and deceit to coerce a legislator to give or withhold his vote on an issue. This provision of law also makes the giver of the bribe and the recipient of the bribe liable under the law.

Sec 86 of the California Penal Code is bribery by legislators. This is a felony offense and occurs when a legislator asks, receives or agrees to receive an item of value with corrupt intent to influence the legislator’s vote in an official matter.

When convicted of bribery, the individual would suffer imprisonment, require payment of fines, forfeiture of office and be disqualified from future office. The prison term would be between two and four years in state prison. When Sec 86 is violated, the convict would need to pay a restitution fine in the following degrees:

When the bribe was not received, the fine is between $2,000 and $10,000;
When the bribe was received, if the bribe amount needs to be paid back or $2,000, whichever is higher or any larger amount of not more than twice the bribe amount received or $10,000, whichever is greater.

The crime of bribery by or of legislators or elected officials is a serious offense in California. Should you be or know anyone facing any of these charges, do reach out to the lawyers at the Law Offices of Ramiro J. Lluis for a free consultation today.