Employees are expected to act in the best interest of their employers when transacting business with third parties. Bribes, kickbacks and payoffs offered to employees to influence their decisions can harm the companies for whom they work. The legislature enacted section 32.43 of the Texas Penal Code to make charges of criminal bribery a crime.
Charges of criminal bribery in Texas involve a fiduciary knowingly or intentionally soliciting, accepting or agreeing to accept a benefit from a third party without the consent of the person for whom the fiduciary is acting. Persons who qualify as fiduciaries under section 32.43 of the Texas Penal Code include:
If the giving of the bribe is to influence the fiduciary’s conduct, the person offering the bribe and the fiduciary accepting it can each be charged with a state jail felony.
A conviction of charges of commercial bribery can result in commitment to a state jail for up to two years with a minimum sentence of 180 days. The sentencing judge has the option of adding the additional penalty of a fine up to $10,000. If the offender benefited from the criminal act, judge can increase the amount of the fine to twice the amount of the benefit.
The assistance of an experienced Houston criminal lawyer is important because of sentencing options available to a judge in a case involving commercial bribery allegations. If a judge believes the accused is a person of good character who can be rehabilitated, the defendant without a criminal record might be eligible to have the sentence reduced to the punishment authorized for a class A misdemeanor. In that case, the sentence could be $4,000 fine or local jail incarceration for up to one year. The court can also impost both a fine and jail incarceration.
If you need to talk with a charges of commercial bribery lawyer, contact Rand Mintzer at 713-862-8880.