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Bribery in the First Degree

When the District Attorney of New York County, Queens County, Westchester County, or their counterparts in Brooklyn, Rockland, Putnam or Dutchess, want to exert the full force of the New York Penal Law and New York criminal justice system in a White Collar Bribery scheme, the hammer they wield is First Degree Bribery. The most serious of all New York Bribery offenses, New York Penal Law 200.04, Bribery in the First Degree, is a class "B" felony. Not only is there a mandatory term of incarceration required if you are convicted, but the maximum sentence is twenty-five years in prison. Make no mistake and have no misgivings. Consult with and retain the best criminal lawyer for your Bribery arrest should you find yourself the subject of a Bribery investigation, arrest or indictment anywhere in the State or City of New York.

First Degree Bribery: Understanding NY Penal Law 200.04

Irrespective of the fraud you are accused of, prosecutors with the local District Attorney or the New York State Attorney General will all have the same elements to prove and burden of proof to reach before securing any conviction. First Degree Bribery, pursuant to New York PL 200.04, is no different. Much like both Bribery in the Third Degree, New York PL 200.00, and Bribery in the Second Degree, NY PL 200.03, Bribery in the First Degree generally occurs in the same way with one major exception other than the potential sentence and penalty.

You are guilty of Bribery in the First Degree if you offer a benefit or in fact give some type of benefit to another person and he or she is not merely a private citizen, but a public servant. In doing so, you offer this benefit with the understanding that as a result of your wrongful giving, that public servant is going to commence an action, come to a decision, or act in a particular manner. Simply, in providing whatever the benefit may be, big or small, your aim is to influence the recipient’s decision-making process or course of action.

While the above is the general language for the lesser Third Degree Bribery and only enhanced by a benefit valued in excess of $10,000 for the purpose of Second Degree Bribery, the critical difference in First Degree Bribery is that the benefit must influence an investigation, arrest, detention, prosecution or incarceration as to an individual who has allegedly committed a class "A" felony. Because the value of the benefit is irrelevant for a violation of PL 200.04, it is possible that you could run afoul of both Second and First Degree Bribery if the benefit you transfer or offer (cash, jewelry, a cruise, etc.) happens to be also worth more than $10,000.

First Degree Bribery: Penalties for NY Penal Law 200.04

Elements aside, arguably the greatest difference between all Bribery crimes in New York is that First Degree Bribery is an offense with a minimum of sentence of either one to three years in prison or one and a half to three years in prison. The maximum sentence ranges from eight and one third to twenty-five years incarceration to twelve and one half to twenty-five years in jail. What dictates the penalty is whether the accused is a predicate felon. In other words, even if your history is completely clean, you will absolutely and unequivocally go to prison upon conviction for PL 200.04

There is no crime, or better stated, felony arrest, that does not warrant the immediate attention of a criminal defense attorney to navigate the accused through the legal process and procedures of the criminal justice system. When charged with a class “B” felony of Bribery, know that the decisions you make today, or lack of action, can and will have ramifications far into the future. When there is no substitute for knowledge, advocacy and experience, contact the New York criminal defense lawyers and former Manhattan prosecutors at Saland Law.

Call our New York defense attorneys and former Manhattan prosecutors at (212) 312-7129 or contact us online today

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