Commercial Bribing In The First Degree: NY Penal Law § 180.03

by ECL Writer
Commercial Bribing In The Second Degree

Bribery constitutes a criminal act involving the exchange of money or valuable items to exert influence over a particular action. The term “bribing” denotes the act of providing or offering something valuable to another individual, whereas “bribe receiving” pertains to the acceptance of such valuables in return. In the New York criminal code, there exist various bribery-related offenses, ranging from misdemeanors to class B felonies. The charges you may face if suspected of bribery hinge on several factors, including whether you hold a public office, the monetary value involved, and the nature of the action being influenced. Under New York Penal Law § 180.03, you could be prosecuted for first-degree commercial bribery if you confer or offer to confer a benefit upon an employee without the consent of their employer, with the intention of influencing the employee’s work-related behavior. For this charge to apply, the benefit must exceed $1,000, and the resulting economic harm to the employer must surpass $250.


Commercial bribing in the first degree is categorized as a class E felony, and a conviction for this offense may result in a maximum prison term of 4 years. Alternatively, you could be subject to a probationary period of up to 5 years, along with the possibility of fines.


Commercial bribery necessitates offering or conferring a benefit with the intention of influencing the actions of an employee. If you provided an employee with a gift for a legitimate, innocent purpose, it could serve as a valid defense against a commercial bribing charge. Furthermore, for the prosecutor to bring charges against you for this offense, they must be able to demonstrate that the benefit granted to the employee exceeded $1,000 in value and that it caused a detriment to the company exceeding $250. If the prosecutor cannot establish the specific monetary amounts involved, it would present significant challenges to their case against you.

New York Penal Law § 180.03: Commercial Bribing In The First Degree

Commercial bribing in the first degree is committed when an individual confers, offers, or agrees to bestow a benefit upon an employee, agent, or fiduciary without the consent of the employee’s or agent’s employer or the principal, aiming to influence their behavior concerning their employer’s or principal’s matters. This offense occurs when the value of the benefit given or promised surpasses one thousand dollars and results in economic harm to the employer or principal totaling more than two hundred fifty dollars.

Related Offenses

  1. Commercial bribe receiving in the first degree: New York Penal Law § 180.08
  2. Bribing a labor official: New York Penal Law § 180.15
  3. Sports bribing: New York Penal Law § 180.40

Hiring A New York Lawyer For Commercial Bribing In The First Degree Case

When facing a commercial bribing in the first degree case in New York, hiring a skilled lawyer is paramount to safeguarding your rights and mounting a robust defense. These cases involve serious legal implications, including the potential for a class E felony conviction, up to four years of imprisonment, probation, and substantial fines.

An experienced New York lawyer can assess the intricacies of your case, scrutinize evidence, and develop a strategic defense tailored to your circumstances. They can challenge the prosecution’s arguments, examine the intent behind alleged actions, and explore potential defenses, such as proving the innocence of any offered benefits.

Navigating the legal complexities of commercial bribing requires a knowledgeable attorney who can protect your interests and advocate for the best possible outcome.

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