If you are a public official or are doing business with someone who is a public official, there is always a risk that other people will misconstrue your innocent transactions as briberies. And unlike commercial bribery which is just a misdemeanor, the Nevada crime of bribery of an executive, administrative or other public officer is a felony and carries mandatory prison time.
Keep reading to learn more about the Las Vegas offense of bribery of an executive officer, administrative officer or public officer.
The legal definition of bribery of an executive, administrative or public official in Las Vegas, Nevada applies when someone:
- “gives, offers or promises any compensation, gratuity or reward
- to any executive, administrative, or public officer of the State,
- with the intent to influence the officer with respect to any act, decision, vote, opinion or other proceeding in the exercise of his or her powers or functions.” (NRS 197.010; NRS 197.020)
Conversely, it is also considered bribery when a public officer asks for or receives compensation upon an agreement that:
- “his or her vote, opinion or action upon will be influenced thereby,
- or that he or she will do or omit any act or proceeding or in any way neglect or violate any official duty.” (NRS 197.030; NRS 197.040)
In short, public officers are not allowed to receive or ask for money in exchange for government actions. And it is equally criminal in Nevada for someone to offer or give money to a public officer with the intent to influence the officer to act in a certain way.
Obviously, it is not considered bribery to contribute to a public official’s campaign as long as the purpose is not to receive special treatment or other favors. And because bribery of a public official is an “intent crime,” you cannot be convicted of it in Las Vegas if you did not deliberately offer or ask for money in exchange for a government action.
The Las Vegas crime of bribing a public, administrative or executive officer is punished as a category C felony in Nevada, carrying a sentence of:
- one to five years in Nevada State Prison, and
- maybe a fine of up to $10,000
If someone is prosecuted under federal bribery law rather than Nevada state bribery law, the punishment can be as much as fifteen years in prison and/or a fine of three times the value of the bribe. (18 U.S.C. 201)
Other bribery crimes
There are several different bribery laws in Nevada that pertain to other specific situations. Click below to read more about them:
- The Nevada crime of Commercial Bribery
- The Nevada crime of Sports Bribery
- The Clark County crime of Bribery of/by Witnesses
- The Clark County crime of Bribery of/by Judicial Officers
Call us for help . . . .
If you have been accused of offering a bribe to a public official or of being a public official asking for a bribe in Nevada, then call our Las Vegas criminal defense lawyers for a free phone consultation to discuss your case. We will try to negotiate with prosecutors to get your charges dropped or reduced to a lesser crime, and if you wish we will take your case to trial as well.
See our related article on false statement by a public officer (NRS 197.130).
To learn about California bribery law, go to Penal Code 67 & 68 PC | Bribery by or of Executive Officers of Public Employees.
- Go back to our Las Vegas Bribery Law main page