2021 Georgia Code
Title 16 - Crimes and Offenses
Chapter 10 - Offenses Against Public Administration
Article 1 - Abuse of Governmental Office
§ 16-10-2. Bribery
- A person commits the offense of bribery when:
- He or she gives or offers to give to any person acting for or on behalf of the state or any political subdivision thereof, or of any agency of either, any benefit, reward, or consideration to which he or she is not entitled with the purpose of influencing him or her in the performance of any act related to the functions of his or her office or employment; or
- A public official, elected or appointed, or an employee of this state or any agency, authority, or entity of the state, or any county or municipality or any agency, authority, or entity thereof, directly or indirectly solicits, receives, accepts, or agrees to receive a thing of value by inducing the reasonable belief that the giving of the thing will influence his or her performance or failure to perform any official action.A thing of value shall not include:
- Food or beverage consumed at a single meal or event;
- Legitimate salary, benefits, fees, commissions, or expenses associated with a recipient's nonpublic business, employment, trade, or profession;
- An award, plaque, certificate, memento, or similar item given in recognition of the recipient's civic, charitable, political, professional, or public service;
- Food, beverages, and registration at group events to which all members of an agency, as defined in paragraph (1) of subsection (a) of Code Section 21-5-30.2, are invited.An agency shall include the Georgia House of Representatives, the Georgia Senate, committees and subcommittees of such bodies, and the governing body of each political subdivision of this state;
- Actual and reasonable expenses for food, beverages, travel, lodging, and registration for a meeting which are provided to permit participation or speaking at the meeting;
- A commercially reasonable loan made in the ordinary course of business;
- Any gift with a value less than $100.00;
- Promotional items generally distributed to the general public or to public officers;
- A gift from a member of the public officer's immediate family; or
- Food, beverage, or expenses afforded public officers, members of their immediate families, or others that are associated with normal and customary business or social functions or activities;
provided, however, that receiving, accepting, or agreeing to receive anything not enumerated in subparagraphs (A) through (J) of this paragraph shall not create the presumption that the offense of bribery has been committed.
- A person convicted of the offense of bribery shall be punished by a fine of not more than $5,000.00 or by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than 20 years, or both.
(Cobb's 1851 Digest, p. 805; Code 1863, §§ 4364, 4365; Ga. L. 1865-66, p. 233, § 1; Code 1868, §§ 4402, 4403; Code 1873, §§ 4469, 4470; Code 1882, §§ 4469, 4470; Penal Code 1895, §§ 267, 268; Penal Code 1910, §§ 270, 271; Code 1933, §§ 26-4101, 26-4102; Ga. L. 1949, p. 274, § 1; Ga. L. 1959, p. 34, § 18; Code 1933, § 26-2301, enacted by Ga. L. 1968, p. 1249, § 1; Ga. L. 1991, p. 1749, § 1; Ga. L. 1992, p. 1075, § 17.)Cross references.
- Prohibition against contributions by corporations for purpose of influencing vote, judgment, or action of officer of state, § 14-5-6.
Lobbying, T. 28, C. 7 and T. 21, C. 5, Art. 4.Law reviews.
- For article discussing statute preceding present criminal Code section restricting municipal purchasing from city officials, see 5 Ga. St. B.J. 309 (1969). For annual survey on criminal law and procedure, see 42 Mercer L. Rev. 141 (1990). For note on 1991 amendment of this Code section, see 8 Ga. St. U.L. Rev. 40 (1992). For note on 1992 amendment of this Code section, see 9 Ga. St. U.L. Rev. 247 (1992).JUDICIAL DECISIONS
- General Consideration
- Constitutional Issues
OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL
Applicability to public officials.
- Elements of the crime proscribed by O.C.G.A. § 16-10-2(a)(2) are: (1) a public official or employee; (2) directly or indirectly solicits, receives, accepts, or agrees to receive; (3) a thing of value; (4) by inducing the reasonable belief that the giving of the thing will influence his or her performance or failure to perform any official action. 1991 Op. Att'y Gen. No. U91-10.
Public officials in many instances have influence over a wide array of interests of potential contributors. Nonetheless, the bribery statute should not become a factor unless the potential donor's interest is narrowed to a matter which is then pending or reasonably likely to be pending before the public official or the body in which the official serves and upon which the official may be called upon to act. 1991 Op. Att'y Gen. No. U91-10.
Bribery statute cannot be said to unequivocally exclude specific situations facing public officials such as meals, receptions, trips and so forth. In any event, the applicability of the statute to any such situation will depend on all the relevant facts. 1991 Op. Att'y Gen. No. U91-10.Members of General Assembly may receive salary from employer during session.
- Members of the General Assembly may continue to receive their legitimate regular salary and benefits from their employer during a legislative session without violating O.C.G.A. § 16-10-2(a) or being subject to the limitations and disclosure requirements of O.C.G.A. T. 21, Ch. 5, as long as the giving of the salary and benefits is not for the purpose of influencing the legislator's performance of his or her duties or the legislator's nomination or election to public office. 1992 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 92-27.
Am. Jur. 2d.
- 12 Am. Jur. 2d, Bribery, § 1 et seq.
Handling the Defense in a Bribery Prosecution, 37 Am. Jur. Trials 273.C.J.S.
- 11 C.J.S., Bribery, § 2 et seq.ALR.
- Bribe giver as accomplice of bribe taker and vice versa within rule requiring corroboration of testimony of accomplice, 73 A.L.R. 389.
Statement by candidate regarding salary or fees of office as violation of Corrupt Practice Acts or bribery, 106 A.L.R. 493.
Criminal offense of bribery as affected by lack of legal qualification of person assuming or alleged to be an officer, 115 A.L.R. 1263.
Bribery as affected by nonexistence of duty upon part of official to do, or refrain from doing, the act in respect of which it was sought to influence him, 158 A.L.R. 323.
Admissibility, in prosecution for bribery or accepting bribes, of evidence tending to show the commission of other bribery or acceptance of bribe, 20 A.L.R.2d 1012.
Solicitation or receipt of funds by public officer or employee for political campaign expenses or similar purposes as bribery, 55 A.L.R.2d 1137.
Recovery of money paid, or property transferred, as a bribe, 60 A.L.R.2d 1273.
Criminal liability of corporation for bribery or conspiracy to bribe public official, 52 A.L.R.3d 1274.
Furnishing public official with meals, lodging, or travel, or receipt of such benefits, as bribery, 67 A.L.R.3d 1231.
Criminal offense of bribery as affected by lack of authority of state public officer or employee, 73 A.L.R.3d 374.
Antagonistic defenses as ground for separate trials of codefendants in criminal case, 82 A.L.R.3d 245.
What constitutes such discriminatory prosecution or enforcement of laws as to provide valid defense in state criminal proceedings, 95 A.L.R.3d 280.
Who is a public official within meaning of federal statute punishing bribery of a public official (18 USCA § 201), 161 A.L.R. Fed. 491.
Effect of McDonnell v. U.S. Definition of "Official Act" upon Bribery Prosecution Involving Public Official Under 18 U.S.C.A. § 201, 32 A.L.R. Fed. 3d 6.