Commercial Bribery in Texas

In the contemporary business landscape, commercial bribery stands out as a significant issue impacting today’s business world. Commercial bribery is a major problem that affects how transactions are done and the trust between professionals. Businesses and individuals need to understand commercial bribery to follow the law and be ethical. This blog will explore the details of commercial bribery, with an emphasis on Texas.

Understanding the Texas Bribery Law

Texas law prohibits a trusted employee or representative of a company from asking for, accepting, or agreeing to accept a benefit in exchange for favorable treatment or influence without the company’s permission. Additionally, the individual who offers or gives the benefit can also be charged with commercial bribery.

Texas law defines commercial bribery in Penal Code §32.43. Here are two ways authorities can charge you with this crime:

Subsection (b): A fiduciary commits an offense if, without their beneficiary’s consent, they intentionally or knowingly ask for, accept, or agree to accept any benefit from another person with the understanding that it will influence their actions regarding their beneficiary’s affairs.

Subsection (c): A person commits an offense if they offer or give any benefit that would be illegal for a fiduciary to accept under Subsection (b).

Legal Consequences of Commercial Bribery

It is usually a Class A misdemeanor, which can lead to:

  • Up to one year in county jail
  • A fine of up to $4,000

The crime can be a state jail felony if the benefit involved is over $1,500, which has tougher penalties:

  • 180 days to 2 years in a state jail
  • A fine of up to $10,000

Besides criminal penalties, people involved in commercial bribery can also face civil lawsuits. Companies affected by bribery can sue for financial losses, damage to their reputation, or breach of contract.

Probation for Commercial Bribery in Texas

If a person commits an offense of commercial bribery, they might get probation. Whether someone can get probation for bribery in Texas depends on factors like the crime details, criminal history, and judge’s discretion. Here are some key points:

  1. Eligibility: It depends on the crime, past crimes, and what the judge decides. Individuals with fewer prior convictions may have a higher likelihood of receiving probation.
  2. Rules: The court sets rules, like meeting with a probation officer, taking drug tests, doing community service, and potentially paying back money.
  3. Supervision: A probation officer keeps an eye on people on probation and tells the court if they break the rules.
  4. Duration: Usually at least two years, but it can change. If someone doesn’t follow the rules, the probation period can be extended.
  5. Breaking the Rules: If someone breaks the rules, the court can cancel probation and make them serve the original sentence, which might include going to jail.

How Can You Prevent Commercial Bribery Offenses?

To fight bribery, Texas businesses need clear and simple anti-bribery policies and training. These rules should clearly say that bribery is not allowed and show how to spot and report suspicious behavior. Businesses across the United States should also provide training on anti-bribery to prevent ethical problems and ensure everyone follows the law.

By having these anti-bribery rules and training, companies can avoid legal trouble and keep a good reputation. Employees need to know the effects of bribery and why reporting suspicious actions is important. Training can help them recognize warning signs and know how to report unethical behavior.

Being open and honest in the workplace helps prevent bribery, avoids legal issues, and protects the company’s reputation.

Arrested? Don’t Plea, Call Me!

Understanding the laws and consequences surrounding commercial bribery in Texas is essential for businesses and individuals alike. The penalties for commercial bribery can be severe, including fines, jail time, and civil lawsuits, impacting both personal and professional lives.

If you’re facing allegations of commercial bribery or want to ensure your business has clear anti-bribery policies in place, reach out to the Texas Criminal Defense Group today. Our experienced attorneys can provide guidance and support to navigate the legal complexities and protect your rights. Together, let’s work towards a business environment that upholds ethical standards and fosters trust among professionals.