Criminal Law

2603. Requesting or Taking a Bribe

The defendant is charged [in Count ______] with (requesting[,]/ taking[,]/ [or] agreeing to take) a bribe.

To prove that the defendant is guilty of this crime, the People must prove that:

1. The defendant was (a/an) (executive officer/ministerial officer/employee/appointee/legislative officer/judicial officer) of the (State of California/City of <insert name of city>/County of <insert name of county>/ <insert name of political subdivision from Pen. Code, 68>);

2. The defendant (requested[,]/ took[,]/ [or] agreed to take) a bribe;

3. When the defendant (requested[,]/ took[,]/ [or] agreed to take) the bribe, (he/she) represented that the bribe would unlawfully influence (his/her) official (act[,]/ decision[,]/ vote[,]/ [or] opinion). The representation may have been express or implied;

AND

4. The defendant acted with the corrupt intent that (his/her) public or official duty would be unlawfully influenced.

As used here, bribe means something of present or future value or advantage, or a promise to give such a thing, that is requested or taken with the corrupt intent that the public or official action, vote, decision, or opinion of the person to who is requesting, taking, or agreeing to take the bribe, will be unlawfully influenced.

A person acts with corrupt intent when he or she acts to wrongfully gain a financial or other advantage for himself, herself, or someone else.

[An executive officer is a government official who may use his or her own discretion in performing his or her job duties. [A <insert title, e.g., police officer, commissioner, etc.> is an executive officer.]]

[A ministerial officer is an officer who has a clear and mandatory duty involving the performance of specific tasks without the exercise of discretion.]

[A legislative officer is a member of the (Assembly/Senate) of this state.]

[A judicial officer includes a (juror[,]/ [or] judge [,]/ [or] referee[,]/ [or] commissioner[,]/ [or] arbitrator [,]/ [or] umpire[,]/ [or] [other] person authorized by law to hear or determine any question or controversy).]

[Requesting or agreeing to take a bribe does not require specific words or behavior, as long as the language used and the circumstances clearly show that the person is seeking a bribe from someone else. [The People do not need to prove that the other person actually consented to give a bribe.]]

[The People do not need to prove that the defendant made any effort to follow through on the purpose for which the bribe was sought.]

Bench Notes

Instructional Duty

The court has a sua sponte duty to give this instruction defining the elements of the crime.

Give the bracketed definition of "requesting or agreeing to take a bribe" if the prosecution is pursuing this theory.

Give the bracketed sentence that begins with "The People do not need to prove that the defendant made any effort to follow through" if there is no evidence that the defendant took any action based on the alleged bribe.

Authority

Elements. Pen. Code, 68, 86, 93.

Bribe Defined. Pen. Code, 7, subd. 6.

Corruptly Defined. Pen. Code, 7, subd. 3.

Executive Officer Defined. People v. Strohl (1976) 57 Cal.App.3d 347, 361 [129 Cal.Rptr. 224].

Ministerial Officer Defined. Gov. Code, 820.25(b); People v. Strohl (1976) 57 Cal.App.3d 347, 361 [129 Cal.Rptr. 224].

Legislative Member. Pen. Code, 86.

Judicial Officer. Pen. Code, 93.

Corrupt Intent Is an Element of Bribery. People v. Gliksman (1978) 78 Cal.App.3d 343, 346-350 [144 Cal.Rptr. 451]; People v. Zerillo (1950) 36 Cal.2d 222, 232 [223 P.2d 223].

Meaning of Understanding or Agreement. People v. Pic'l (1982) 31 Cal.3d 731, 738-740 [183 Cal.Rptr. 685, 646 P.2d 847]; People v. Diedrich (1982) 31 Cal.3d 263, 273-274 [182 Cal.Rptr. 354, 643 P.2d 971]; People v. Gliksman (1978) 78 Cal.App.3d 343, 346-350 [144 Cal.Rptr. 451].

Bribery and Extortion Distinguished. People v. Powell (1920) 50 Cal.App. 436, 441 [195 P. 456].

Secondary Sources

2 Witkin & Epstein, California Criminal Law (3d ed. 2000) Crimes Against Governmental Authority, 32-55.

6 Millman, Sevilla & Tarlow, California Criminal Defense Practice, Ch. 141, Conspiracy, Solicitation, and Attempt, 141.10 (Matthew Bender).

Related Issues

See the Related Issues section of CALCRIM No. 2600, Giving or Offering a Bribe to an Executive Officer.

(New January 2006)