Commercial Bribery

Texas Criminal Law

The Commercial Bribery offense in Texas makes it a crime to offer or accept a benefit as a fiduciary if that benefit will influence the beneficiary’s conduct with respect to the fiduciary.

Commercial Bribery is classified in the Texas Penal Code under Title 7 “Offenses Against Property,” Chapter 32 “Fraud.”

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Learn more detailed information about the Commercial Bribery offense below.

What is the current Texas law about Commercial Bribery?

The current Texas law prohibiting Commercial Bribery is defined in Texas Penal Code §32.43, and there are two ways for the state to charge you with it. The first one is found in subsection (b):[1]

(b) A person who is a fiduciary commits an offense if, without the consent of his beneficiary, he intentionally or knowingly solicits, accepts, or agrees to accept any benefit from another person on agreement or understanding that the benefit will influence the conduct of the fiduciary in relation to the affairs of his beneficiary.

The second category is an offense under subsection (c):

(c) A person commits an offense if he offers, confers, or agrees to confer any benefit the acceptance of which is an offense under Subsection (b).

How can I be charged with Commercial Bribery?

You can be charged with Commercial Bribery if the state’s attorneys believe that each of the elements of 32.43(b) or (c), as described in the section above, have been met.

What is the punishment for Commercial Bribery?

A conviction for Commercial Bribery is punished as a State Jail Felony,[2] with a maximum possible fine under Texas state law of up to $10,000 and state prison time of up to two years. Learn about the differences between grades of felonies and misdemeanors

There is a special provision related to fines for Commercial Bribery convictions, however. Texas Penal Code Section 32.43(e) allows for the possibility of a much higher fine:

(e) In lieu of a fine that is authorized by Subsection (d), and in addition to the imprisonment that is authorized by that subsection, if the court finds that an individual who is a fiduciary gained a benefit through the commission of an offense under Subsection (b), the court may sentence the individual to pay a fine in an amount fixed by the court, not to exceed double the value of the benefit gained. This subsection does not affect the application of Section 12.51(c) to an offense under this section committed by a corporation or association.

^1. Texas Penal Code §32.43^2. Texas Penal Code §32.43(d)

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