It can seem like a good idea at the time. You've been out with friends or at dinner and had a few drinks. On the way home, you see blue lights flashing behind you, and you begin to worry that your blood alcohol content might be too high. The police officer talks to you about your evening, asks you to perform some sobriety tests, and then asks you to submit to a blood alcohol concentration test. Then he tells you your BAC is over the legal limit, and he's arresting you. What happens if you try to bribe a police officer to let you go?
What Happens During a DWI Stop?
The police can't just pull you over for the heck of it; they need “reasonable suspicion” that you've committed a crime. But a traffic violation like speeding, failing to use your blinker, or failing to yield gives the police reasonable suspicion to pull you over. The police will then interview you and ask for your license. During the stop, they'll be observing you and your behavior, deciding whether there is a possibility that you are intoxicated.
The police may then ask you to perform a series of sobriety tests, observing your demeanor, balance, reaction time, and more. They may then ask you to submit to blood alcohol testing, usually a breath or blood test. If your BAC is over the legal limit of .04%, or if the police believe you no longer have the normal use of your mental and physical “faculties,” they may arrest you. If you offer the police money or something else of value in exchange for letting you go, you can also face bribery charges.
Bribery in Texas
Under Texas law, you can face charges for bribery if you knowingly or intentionally offer, solicit, pay, or receive money or another benefit to influence a public official or to get a public servant to violate a duty imposed by the law. Offering to pay a police officer in exchange for letting you go would qualify as bribery. Offering a police officer sporting tickets, sexual favors, or anything of value in exchange for violating their duty as a police officer would also qualify as bribery. Tex. Crim. Code § 36.02 (1994). Bribery is a second-degree felony in Texas, punishable by a minimum of two years, a maximum of 20 years in prison, and a $10,000 fine.
Hire an Expert in Criminal Defense and DWI Law
If you're facing a DWI charge, a great lawyer is always a better option than bribing a police officer. But if you're already facing a bribery charge, you will need an expert in criminal defense to defend your rights. Attorney Doug Murphy is an expert in Texas criminal defense law and DWI defense. He is one of only two Texas attorneys Board Certified in both Criminal Defense Law and DWI Defense, making him uniquely qualified to effectively handle complex DWI cases, like those also involving bribery or other criminal charges.
U.S. News & World Report recently named Doug to their prestigious 2023 Best Lawyers in America “Lawyer of the Year” list for Houston DWI defense. Doug and the skilled lawyers at the Doug Murphy Law Firm, P.C., have been defending Texans from DWI and other criminal charges for years, and they can help you too. Call the Doug Murphy Law Firm, P.C., at 713-229-8333, or contact them online to schedule your consultation.
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