I. PC 92/93: Bribery of, or by Judges, Judicial Officers or Jurors
PC 92: “Every person who gives or offers to give a bribe to any judicial officer, juror, referee, arbitrator, or umpire, or to any person who may be authorized by law to hear or determine any question or controversy, with intent to influence his vote, opinion, or decision upon any matter or question which is or may be brought before him for decision, is punishable by imprisonment…”
PC 93: “(a) Every judicial officer, juror, referee, arbitrator, or umpire, and every person authorized by law to hear or determine any question or controversy, who asks, receives, or agrees to receive, any bribe, upon any agreement or understanding that his or her vote, opinion, or decision upon any matters or question which is or may be brought before him or her for decision, shall be influenced thereby, is punishable by imprisonment in the state prison for two, three, or four years and, in cases where no bribe has been actually received, by a restitution fine of not less than two thousand dollars ($2,000) or not more than ten thousand dollars ($10,000) or, in cases where a bribe was actually received, by a restitution fine of at least the actual amount of the bribe received or two thousand dollars ($2,000), whichever is greater, or any larger amount of not more than double the amount of any bribe received or ten thousand dollars ($10,000), whichever is greater.”
For a person to be convicted of a violation of PC 92, the prosecution must show that:
- You offered or gave something of value to a judicial officer or juror;
- You made this offer with corrupt intent;
3. You did this in order to influence the officer’s decision in an official matter.
For a person to be convicted of a violation of PC 93, the prosecution must show that:
- You, as a judicial officer or juror, received or agreed to receive;
- Something of value;
- You did this with corrupt intent;
4. You did this in order to influence your own decision as an officer’s decision in an official matter.
II. What does this mean?
People who did the bribing are charged under PC 92; people who are bribed are charged under PC 93. Bribery here, is defined as occurring when a Judge or Juror makes an official decision in a case in exchange for money or something else of value. A “judge” in this context can be an actually Judge, a Commissioner, a Referred, an Arbitrator and Umpire. A juror is the common definition of a person impaneled as a juror in a criminal or civil trial.
A corrupt intent can be easily inferred from the circumstances, such as sending a Judge presiding over your brother’s criminal case, a new car, out of the blue for no reason. Unless you have a prior personal relationship with that Judge, then it is likely being done to influence the Judge in your brother’s favor. This can also be inferred from the circumstances of a person trying to get in contact with a juror that is sitting on a big civil case you are a part of too. There really isn’t a reason to ever contact a juror, other than if you have that kind of corrupt intent to control the proceedings in your case. Generally, you would not know a juror on a case involving you, as there is a proper vetting procedure to avoid any possible bias by a juror knowing parties members to a case. Because of this procedure, the only reason you would be contacting them is to gain favor in your case.
A violation under PC 92 and PC 93 Bribery of, or by Judges, Judicial Officers, or Jurors is a felony only charge. This means you cannot have this charge reduced to a misdemeanor during or after your case. This would also mean, a conviction for a violation under PC 92/93, would be a lifetime ban for you to ever own or possess a firearm. A conviction under this section can land you in State Prison for upwards to 2, 3, or 4 years. You would be required to serve at least 50% of that time in custody. You could also be required to pay restitution in the form of fines from $2,000 up to $10,000. This is not a mandatory Prison Sentence, and having an experienced Criminal Defense Attorney can possibly seek Probation, thus avoiding a lengthy Prison Sentence. Whether you are subject to State Prison or Probation, depends on the facts of your case and your criminal history. This is not a strike offense under the California Three Strikes law, and it is not a Sex Offense under PC 290. You could also face a suspension or loss of your Professional License if convicted, and if you are not a legal resident, you could face issues in Immigration Court because this is a crime of moral turpitude.
IV. Common Defenses
Generally speaking, a person who confesses to a crime that is forced out of them by police conduct, it would be inadmissible to be used against them in Court. This makes logical sense, if the police force a confession out of a person illegally, it should not be able to be brought into Court to be used against them. In a case like this, a prior friendship with a judicial officer may be investigated as a crime, where police and a DA accuse you of bribing this long time Judge friend in order to get a favorable result in a case they presided over. Police could overwhelm you with photos of the two of you together, holding you in an interrogation room for hours until you’re delirious, and you the confess. If your confession is coerced by police, then it can be generally not be brought into court against you.
Also, you could have also simply given a present to the Judge, not with a corrupt intent, but to thank them for the job they are doing. If the present does not influence the Judge, and you lack the corrupt intent to commit that crime, then you would not be found guilty under this section. Instead, there would be insufficient evidence to prove you guilty of the charges. Your Ontario Criminal Defense Attorney could argue this for you at your Preliminary Hearing or at Trial, in order to get your case dismissed.
V. Call Today
A violation under PC 92 or PC 93 can have devastating impacts on a person’s future. Failing to find a proper defense can land you in State Prison for up to 4 years, mandatory deportation if you are not a resident, and loss of your 2nd Amendment Rights to own a Firearm for life. And if you are a Judge under PC 93, you would lose your job, and likely your Bar License. Our Ontario PC 92 and PC 93 attorney has successfully defended numerous people charged with bribery of, or by Judges, judicial officers or jurors under PC 92 and PC 93. Call your local Ontario Criminal Defense Attorney today at the Inland Empire Defense 909-939-7126. Located in Ontario.