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Be Careful of What You Ask For...

Posted by Neil Shouse | Apr 18, 2010 | 0 Comments

It's human nature to try to talk our way out of trouble. But be careful of how you try to do so. If, for example, you're stopped for DUI, speeding, or any other traffic violation…and ask the officer if there's anything you can do to convince him/her not to arrest you or give you a ticket…you could face charges for bribery under California Penal Code 67 PC.

Penal Code 67 PC, California's law dealing with bribing executive officers makes it illegal to offer an executive officer (including a cop) something of value to influence an official decision. If you outright offer money or another incentive to the officer who's about to arrest you for drunk driving, it's a pretty open and shut case. But, if you are simply asking if there's anything you can do to convince him/her to let you go…and you haven't actually offered anything of value…you're in a grey area. An overzealous cop or D.A. could try to charge you under California's bribery laws, even though you didn't specify what it was you were offering in exchange for the officer's leniency.

So before you try to talk your way out of trouble, beware: be sure you know what you're asking for and how you're asking for it.

About the Author

Neil Shouse

A former Los Angeles prosecutor, attorney Neil Shouse graduated with honors from UC Berkeley and Harvard Law School (and completed additional graduate studies at MIT). He has been featured on CNN, Good Morning America, Dr Phil, Court TV, The Today Show and Court TV. Mr Shouse has been recognized by the National Trial Lawyers as one of the Top 100 Criminal and Top 100 Civil Attorneys.

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