Bribery text over Texas flag background


In Texas, the criminal offense of Bribery prohibits both the offering and receiving of money or any other benefit in exchange for a political vote, judicial decision or other official decision. Interestingly, it is not a defense (and therefore still a crime) if the benefit was offered or received after the decision was made and even after the person is no longer a public official.1 Learn more about the Bribery offense below.

Political contributions (as defined by Title 15, Election Code, or an expenditure made and reported in accordance with Chapter 305, Government Code) are not considered bribes, however, if they comply with the law in the Election Code and Government Code.2

Have you been charged with Bribery? Call criminal lawyer Paul Saputo at (888) 239-9305 to discuss legal representation.

What is the current Texas law about Bribery?

The current Texas law is as follows:3

(a) A person commits an offense if he intentionally or knowingly offers, confers, or agrees to confer on another, or solicits, accepts, or agrees to accept from another:

(1) any benefit as consideration for the recipient’s decision, opinion, recommendation, vote, or other exercise of discretion as a public servant, party official, or voter;

(2) any benefit as consideration for the recipient’s decision, vote, recommendation, or other exercise of official discretion in a judicial or administrative proceeding;

(3) any benefit as consideration for a violation of a duty imposed by law on a public servant or party official; or

(4) any benefit that is a political contribution as defined by Title 15, Election Code, or that is an expenditure made and reported in accordance with Chapter 305, Government Code, if the benefit was offered, conferred, solicited, accepted, or agreed to pursuant to an express agreement to take or withhold a specific exercise of official discretion if such exercise of official discretion would not have been taken or withheld but for the benefit; notwithstanding any rule of evidence or jury instruction allowing factual inferences in the absence of certain evidence, direct evidence of the express agreement shall be required in any prosecution under this subdivision.

How can I be charged with Bribery?

You can be charged with Bribery if the state’s attorneys believe that each of the elements of 36.02(a)(1), 36.02(a)(2), 36.02(a)(3), 36.02(a)(4) or 36.02(a)(5) as described in the section above have been met.

What is the punishment for Bribery?

If you are convicted of Bribery in Texas, the offense is punished as a second degree Felony,4 punishable by prison time of two to twenty years and a fine up to $10,000. Learn more about the difference between felonies and misdemeanors here

Legal References:

1 Texas Penal Code §36.02(c)

(c) It is no defense to prosecution under this section that the benefit is not offered or conferred or that the benefit is not solicited or accepted until after:

(1) the decision, opinion, recommendation, vote, or other exercise of discretion has occurred; or

(2) the public servant ceases to be a public servant.

2 Texas Penal Code §36.02(d)

3 Texas Penal Code §36.02

4 Texas Penal Code §36.02(e)

Recent Case Results

  • 2019 Not Guilty in Collin County DWI >0.15
  • 2019 Not Guilty in Dallas County Indecency with a Child
  • Oral Argument at the United States Federal 5th Circuit Court of Appeals on Prosecutorial Misconduct Claim arising out of Northern District of Texas
  • 2018 Not Guilty in Martin County Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon on a Peace Officer
  • Not Guilty in 2018 Dallas County DWI Trial
  • Client cleared in Dallas Police Shooting wrongful accusation
  • Federal sentencing results in 10 Year Downward Deviation from Sentencing Guidelines in 2018
  • Not Guilty Jury Verdict for client originally accused of Intoxication Manslaughter
  • Case Dismissed after picking jury in Aggravated Sexual Assault of Child case in 2017
  • United States Attorney dismisses case against client charged in El Paso Federal Court with Possession of Child Pornography
  • ALL CHARGES DISMISSED against our client in the Twin Peaks Waco Biker case
  • Client “No-billed” by grand jury investigating shooting death case
  • Coverage of Case Involving Waco teacher sending messages to student
  • Judge returns a Directed Verdict of Acquittal in case involving trainer of professional athletes
  • Rare Not Guilty verdict in Rockwall County DWI
  • 2016 Dismissal of Fort Worth Federal Possession of Obscene Visual Representation of the Sexual Abuse of Children
  • Hill County Money Laundering case Dismissed and civil asset forfeiture assets returned
  • Coverage of teen Lewisville client charged with hit-and-run death
  • Two Montague County Indecency with a Child cases Dismissed