Commercial Bribery and Commercial Bribe Receiving: NY Penal Law Article 180

Not all bribery crimes in New York are equal. As a preliminary matter, bribery can be of a commercial or public nature. Similarly, receiving a bribe, is a criminal offense in both the public and private arenas. Whether the allegations involve Commercial Bribing or Commercial Bribe Receiving, and the fraud involves the private business sector, for example, the briber or bribed parties can each face two crimes respectively. These offenses are either Commercial Bribing, pursuant to New York Penal Law sections 180.00 or 180.03, or Commercial Bribe Receiving, pursuant to New York Penal Law sections 180.05 and 180.08. Keep in mind that although these offenses are specific “bribe crimes,” there are a litany of other crimes an accused can face at the time of his or her arrest, indictment or trial. Consulting with your own attorney to identify potential charges and defenses to the same is critical.

Setting aside the legal definitions involving bribes and private enterprises, a conviction for these offenses is no less permanent than any other crime in New York’s penal code. That is, any conviction for these offenses is indelible. While you could face a sentence of one year in a local or county jail after a plea or conviction for the lesser misdemeanor crime, the felony offense exposes you to as much as four years in prison. Both of these potential sentences take into consideration that you have a clean slate with the criminal justice system. In fact, in the event you are what is legally defined as a predicate felon, the minimum exposure you will encounter on either felony conviction is one and a half to three years incarceration.

Commercial Bribing in the Second and First Degrees: NY Penal Law 180.00 and 180.03

The lesser of two schemes, you are guilty of Second Degree Commercial Bribing, NY Penal Law 180.00, if you confer or provide any benefit upon another person who is an employee, agent or fiduciary of a company. In doing so, you not only lack the permission of the employer but your objective is to influence the recipient’s conduct as it relates to the affair’s of his or her business.

Bribery elevates from a misdemeanor to the felony of First Degree Commercial Bribing, NY Penal Law 180.03, when the elements of the lesser crime are met, but you, the accused, also provide a benefit with a value greater than $1,000.00 and the economic harm suffered by the principal exceeds $250.00.

Commercial Bribe Receiving in the Second and First Degrees: NY Penal Law 180.05 and 180.08

Just like the briber, the beneficiary of that bribe faces similar consequences. Simply, instead of giving, if, as an employee, fiduciary or agent of a company or business, you accept, or merely agree to accept, any benefit, no matter its value, upon an agreement or understanding that your conduct will be influenced as it relates to your employer’s business or affairs, then you are guilty of Second Degree Commercial Bribe Receiving, NY Penal Law 180.05.

Ratcheting the offense to a felony, when the value of the benefit received exceeds $1,000.00, and your employer or principal suffers a loss or economic harm in excess of $250.00, you face the more serious crime of First Degree Commercial Bribe Receiving, NY Penal Law 180.08.

Direct and Collateral Consequences of Commercial Bribe Receiving and Bribing

Outside of the obvious - a felony or misdemeanor record and possible incarceration – there are other collateral ramifications of a conviction for any of these offenses. For example, if you hold a professional license as an accountant, attorney, physician, or other position, or you are regulated by FINRA or the FDIC, your career is at risk. Further, a non-citizen will without question endanger his or her legal status now and in the future if convicted of any of these crimes.

Irrespective of the allegations or whether other crimes - from Falsifying Business Record and Forgery to Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument and Grand Larceny – are charged in an arrest or indictment, do not underestimate the severity of any bribe related offense even if the alleged scheme never came to fruition. Identify the strongest defense, work alongside your criminal defense lawyer and implement the strategies that can save you not only from imprisonment, but keep your career, family and future intact.

No matter what stage of the criminal process you find yourself, the criminal lawyers and former Manhattan Assistant District Attorney’s at Crotty Saland PC are at the ready to advocate in your defense.

Call Our Commercial Bribery defense lawyers and former Manhattan prosecutors at 212.312.7129 or contact us online today.

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