The Nevada crime of commercial bribery is when a company employee is offered money (or any other benefit) in exchange for making a business decision without permission or involvement of the boss. Although it carries only misdemeanor penalties, having a bribery conviction looks bad on your criminal record and will cause other employers to pass you over for a job.
On this page is a basic overview of the Nevada offense of commercial robbery, including the definition, defenses and penalties.
Nevada commercial bribery law grew out of the notion that employees are ethically obligated to behave loyally to their employers. Therefore, it became a criminal offense for a third party to offer an employee money or favors in exchange for a business decision without the boss's permission.
The legal definition of commercial bribery in Nevada applies when any person acts with corrupt intent to:
"offer, confer or agree to confer any benefit upon any employee, agent or fiduciary,
without the consent of the employer or principal of that employee, agent or fiduciary,
in order to influence adversely that person's conduct in relation to the commercial affairs of his or her employer or principal."
Commercial bribery goes both ways and also applies to situations where an employee or agent of the company:
"solicits, accepts or agrees to accept any benefit from another person
upon an agreement or understanding that the benefit will influence adversely his or her conduct in relation to the commercial affairs of his or her employer or principal."
Therefore commercial bribery charges can be brought against both the third party who participates in a bribe and the employee who accepts or asks for the bribe. Note that commercial bribery is different than the Nevada crime of extortion. Extortion carries more serious penalties because it involves threatening someone with harm in exchange for a favor.
Commercial bribery is a very vague crime and lends itself to a host of different kinds of defense strategies depending on the facts. The following are just three of the more common methods to fight a Nevada commercial bribery charge.
Lack of intent. Since commercial bribery is an intent crime in Nevada, you may not be convicted of it unless the D.A. proves beyond a reasonable doubt that you deliberately engaged in an act constituting commercial bribery.
Consent from company. If your attorney can show that you acted with the backing of the company or business entity in question, then no commercial bribery took place.
No adverse influence. An element of commercial bribery is that it will "adversely influence" the employee's conduct in relation to the business. If your attorney can show that the alleged bribery transaction posed no such potential adverse influence, then commercial bribery charges shouldn't stand.
Because the Nevada crime of commercial bribery doesn't involve threats or coercion like the Las Vegas crime of extortion, it is only a misdemeanor in Clark County and carries the following sentence:
up to six months in jail, and/or
up to $1,000 in fines
But remember that even though the punishment for violating Nevada commercial bribery law isn't that severe, having a conviction can still tarnish your reputation and derail your entire career. Therefore it is important for your attorney to try to get your bribery charge dismissed or else negotiated down to another offense.
Other bribery offenses
Commercial bribery is the least serious kind of bribery crime in Nevada. Click on the links below to learn about the others:
Accused of commercial bribery? We're here to fight for you . . . .
If you have been arrested for the Nevada offense of commercial bribery (NRS 207.295), call our Las Vegas criminal defense lawyers at 702-DEFENSE (702-333-3673) for a free phone meeting today. We may be able to plea bargain your charge down to something less stigmatizing or even get it dropped completely so your criminal record remains unblemished.