CALCRIM No. 2610. Giving or Offering a Bribe to a Witness (Pen. Code, § 137(a))

Judicial Council of California Criminal Jury Instructions (2023 edition)

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(i) Bribery
2610.Giving or Offering a Bribe to a Witness (Pen. Code, § 137(a))
The defendant is charged [in Count ] with (giving[,]/ [or]
offering[,]/ [or] promising) a bribe to a witness [in violation of Penal
Code section 137(a)].
To prove that the defendant is guilty of this crime, the People must
prove that:
1. The defendant (gave[,]/ [or] offered[,]/ [or] promised) a bribe to
(a witness[,]/ [or] a person about to be called as a witness[,]/ [or]
a person about to give material information to a law enforcement
official about a crime)[,] [or to someone acting on the (witness’s/
[or] person’s) behalf];
2. The defendant acted with the corrupt intent to persuade the
(witness/ [or] person) to agree that the bribe would unlawfully
influence the (testimony/information) that the (witness/ [or]
person) would give.
As used here, bribe means something of present or future value or
advantage, or a promise to give such a thing, that is given or offered
with the corrupt intent to unlawfully influence the testimony or
information of the person to whom the bribe is given.
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.
[As used here, witness means someone [or a person the defendant
reasonably believed to be someone]:
<Give the appropriate bracketed paragraph[s].>
[Who knows about the existence or nonexistence of facts relating
to a crime(;/.)]
[Whose declaration under oath has been or may be received as
[Who has reported a crime to a (peace officer[,]/ [or]
prosecutor[,]/ [or] probation or parole officer[,]/ [or] correctional
officer[,]/ [or] judicial officer)(;/.)]
Who has been served with a subpoena issued under the authority
of any state or federal court.]]
[A person is about to be called as a witness (if he or she knows or has
been told that he or she will be called as a witness [,]/ [or] if he or she
knows material information relating to the issues in a case that has been
or may be filed).]
[Information is material if it is significant or important.]
[(A/The) (district attorney[,]/ [or] deputy district attorney[,]/ [or] city
attorney[,]/ [or] deputy city attorney[,]/ [or] Attorney General[,]/ [or]
deputy attorney general[,]/ [or] <insert title of peace offıcer
included in Pen. Code, § 830 et seq.>) is a law enforcement official.]
[The (witness/ [or] person giving information) does not need to (have
accepted the bribe[,]/ have been influenced by the bribe[,]/ [or] have
intended to give the (testimony/information) the defendant sought).]
[Offering a bribe does not require specific words or behavior, as long as
the language used and the circumstances clearly show an intent to bribe.
[The thing offered does not need to actually be given, exist at the time it
is offered, or have a specific value.]]
New January 2006
Instructional Duty
The court has a sua sponte duty to give this instruction defining the elements of the
Give the bracketed sentence that begins with “The (witness/person giving
information) does not need” if the evidence shows the witness did not accept the
bribe or follow through on the bribe.
Give the bracketed definition of “offering a bribe” if the prosecution is pursuing this
theory. Give the bracketed sentence that begins, “The thing offered does not need to
actually,” on request.
Elements. Pen. Code, § 137(a).
Witness Defined. Pen. Code, § 136(2).
Bribe Defined. Pen. Code, § 7, subd. 6.
Corruptly Defined. Pen. Code, § 7, subd. 3.
Law Enforcement Official Defined. Pen. Code, § 137(e).
About to Be Called as a Witness. People v. Broce (1977) 76 Cal.App.3d 71,
75-76 [142 Cal.Rptr. 628].
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].
Intent Requirement. People v. Gliksman (1978) 78 Cal.App.3d 343, 346-350
[144 Cal.Rptr. 451].
Offering a Bribe. People v. Britton (1962) 205 Cal.App.2d 561, 564 [22
Cal.Rptr. 921].
Extortion Distinguished
Extortion is bribery with the additional element of coercion. Accordingly, one
cannot be guilty of receiving a bribe and extortion in the same transaction. (People
v. Powell (1920) 50 Cal.App. 436, 441 [195 P. 456].)
A witness need not have information that is actually true or that relates to charges
that result in conviction. (People v. Cribas (1991) 231 Cal.App.3d 596, 610-611
[282 Cal.Rptr. 538].)
2 Witkin & Epstein, California Criminal Law (4th ed. 2012) Crimes Against
Governmental Authority, §§ 33-56.
6 Millman, Sevilla & Tarlow, California Criminal Defense Practice, Ch. 141,
Conspiracy, Solicitation, and Attempt, § 141.10 (Matthew Bender).

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