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Bribery Charges in Nevada

The Nevada crime of Bribery is broken down into four distinct category. Each one is slightly different in the elements needed to prove the crime, as well as the range of penalties if found guilty of Bribery. 

Commercial Bribery (NRS 207.295)

Commercial bribery has to do with an employee acting against his employer’s interest in return for money or favors. The crime has two sets of elements, one for the briber, and one for the bribee. Further, the exchange itself doesn’t have to take place; the simple act of offering a bribe is a crime in and of itself.

To be convicted of offering a commercial bribe, one must:

  1. Offer any benefit upon any employee, agent or fiduciary;
  2. Without the consent of the employer;
  3. To adversely influence that person’s conduct in the commercial affairs of his/her employer.

To be convicted of soliciting a commercial bribe, one must:

  1. Solicit or accept any benefit from another;
  2. In an agreement that will adversely influence the defendant’s conduct in the commercial affairs of his/her employer.

An example of a commercial bribe would be if one lawyer told another lawyer’s receptionist that he would pay her $100 for each client she could divert to him. If the receptionist accepted the offer, both the offering lawyer and the receptionist could be convicted of commercial bribery.

Commercial Bribery is a misdemeanor in Nevada, and carries a maximum penalty of six months in jail and up to $1000 in fines. Jail time is highly unlikely in a first offense. If the defendant is a fiduciary or attorney, there can be professional licensure consequences as well.

Sports Bribery (NRS 207.290)(18 U.S.C. 224)

Nevada is famous for legalized sports betting. The potential winnings create a huge incentive for people to bribe sports players or officials in order to profit from their bets. In order to curtail these activities, Nevada enacted a sports bribery law. 

In order to be convicted of Sports Bribery, one must:

  1. Give, accept, or ask a player, referee or other sports official some value;
  2. In order for them to not use their best efforts to win; OR
  3. To limit his team’s margin of victory; OR
  4. Corruptly judge, referee, manage, or officiate the sporting event with the intention of affecting the results.

Sports bribery also violates Federal Statute 18 U.S.C. 224 if the bribery affected interstate commerce. This is common in Nevada, since there are no major league professional sports teams in the State.

Sports bribery is an intent crime. If the offer was not clearly a bribe, it might have been a legal exchange of funds. Many sports figures are celebrities, and free to accept money to appear at events and endorse products. The intent has to specifically mirror the violation of the statute in order for a conviction of Sports Bribery to stand.

Sports Bribery is a C Felony in Nevada. It is punishable by one to five years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. The Federal penalty is up to five years in prison and a possible fine. Generally, a defendant is only sentenced by the State or the Federal courts, not both.

Bribery of Judges or Jurors (NRS 199.010; NRS 199.020; NRS 199.030)

Like many states, offering a bribe in an attempt to affect the outcome of a court case is illegal in Nevada. These laws are designed to prevent bias and maintain the integrity of the courts.

It is a crime when “…a person who gives, offers or promises, directly or indirectly, any compensation, gratuity or reward to a judicial officer, juror, referee, arbitrator, appraiser, assessor or other person authorized by law to hear or determine any question, matter, cause, proceeding or controversy, with the intent to influence his or her action, vote, opinion or decision thereupon.” (NRS 199.010)

It is also a crime when a judge or a juror asks for or receives a bribe “…upon an agreement or understanding that his or her vote, opinion, judgment, action, decision or other official proceeding will be influenced thereby, or that the judicial officer will do or omit any act or proceeding or in any way neglect or violate any official duty.” (NRS 199.020; NRS 193.130)

On both sides of this equation, a request for a bribe or an attempt to give a bribe constitutes bribery of a judicial officer.

Bribery of a Judicial Officer is a C Felony in Nevada. It is punishable by one to five years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

Bribery of a Witness (NRS 199.240; 18 USC 201)

Bribery of a witness occurs when a person “…offers or promises any compensation, gratuity or reward to any witness in an official proceeding, upon an agreement that his or her testimony will be thereby influenced.”

Similar to other forms of bribery, simply soliciting or offering the bribe is a crime. Also, even the slightest change in the witness’ testimony is enough. For instance, if a defendant pays a witness to alter a very small fact in their testimony, it is the same crime as if the defendant pays the witness to not show up to court.

Bribery by a Witness (NRS 199.250)

It is also a crime for a witness to solicit or receive a bribe. Therefore, the same penalties apply to the witness who solicits or receives value for changing their testimony.

Bribery of or by a Witness is a C Felony in Nevada. It is punishable by one to five years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. If the witness is a witness in a Federal case, the crime is also punishable under Federal law.

If you or a loved one is charged with Bribery in either a Federal District of Nevada or Nevada State court, call the law offices of Boley & AlDabbagh at 702-435-3333.