Bribery in general is a crime, but while most cases of bribery tend to involve public officials, not all do. When a public official is not involved, the target of bribery will often be an athlete or official playing in a sporting event, generally for the purposes of making money through gambling. If you have been accused of bribing someone to throw a sporting event or if you’re an athlete or referee accused of accepting a bribe, you should immediately contact a top Mira Mesa criminal lawyer to discuss your defense.
Bribing Someone to Throw a Sporting Event
Because sports games, events and tournaments depend on the integrity of the game in order for the sport to have any legitimacy as a measure of athletic prowess. As a result, when an athlete, coach or referee is paid in order to lose or even play less competently, it is a crime. Specifically the law bans the bribery or attempted bribery of a participant or player with the understanding that a player will not use her best efforts.
It’s worth noting that giving someone money to incentive them to win a game is not bribery as it is expected that the individual would attempt to win either way, you are just adding extra motivation. In fact, if the prosecution cannot prove that you asked the participant or player to play less competently, then your La Jolla bribery attorney will often be able to have the charges against you dropped. Also, only sporting events wherein all athletes are expected to play to their full potential are really considered to be legitimate challenges of an athlete’s abilities. Because wrestling is a scripted show, it (and similar forms of entertainment) are not covered by this law, so those who tell wrestlers who will win or lose a match are not violating the law.
Bribing someone to throw a sporting event can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony. As a misdemeanor, the maximum sentence is one year in jail. As a felony, the crime is punishable by up to three years imprisonment.
Accepting a Bribe to Throw a Game
Whether it is more ethical to bribe someone to play poorly or for an athlete to take a bribe in exchange for attempting to lose is a matter of debate. The California state government seems to have already made up their mind though and while bribing someone to throw a sporting event can be a misdemeanor or a felony, accepting a bribe as a player or participant is always a felony, punishable by up to three years imprisonment and $5,000 in fines. Additionally, most athletes or other participants who are convicted of this crime will be permanently banned from playing or coaching the sport professionally.
While the law treats the acceptance of bribes in a sporting event as more serious than offering a bribe, it’s well known that many of those who bribe players and participants are working with the mafia. As a result, many players are threatened with violence against themselves or loved ones if they do not accept a bribe to lose a match. When this happens, your Del Mar criminal lawyer can use the fact that you acted under duress to fight the charges against you.
If you have been accused of bribing someone to throw a sporting event or accepting a bribe to throw a match, please call (760) 643-4050 or (858) 486-3024 to schedule a free initial consultation with Carmel Valley bribery attorney Peter M. Liss.
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