Illegal to bribe or proposition a police officer?

Nothing to do with current events; just something I was wondering about.

Officer Doright pulls over a speeder, Joe Sleazebag, and starts to write a ticket. Joe offers him twice the amount of the fine to cancel the ticket, so Joe won’t get points on his license. Can Officer Doright cite him for attempted bribery? Later he pulls over Connie Cupiscient, who offers to go down on him if he’ll cancel the ticket. Is she in further trouble for attempted (sexual) bribery?

There’s a whole Wiki about it: with laws from multiple countries.

" * Extortion/bribery : Demanding or receiving payment for criminal offenses, to overlook a crime or a possible future crime. Types of bribery are protection for illegal activities, ticket fixing, altering testimony, destroying evidence, and selling criminal information. Bribery is one of the most common acts of corruption."

This depends, as with all legal questions, on the jurisdiction and its definition of bribery (and, more importantly in this case, attempted bribery). But if the offer was explicitly to exchange cash or sexual favours for not writing the ticket, then I would find it quite obvious and uncontroversial that this constitutes, indeed, attempted bribery.

It seems to me that the OP is not asking about the definition of bribery. Rather, the question is whether or not it is illegal.

Having seen news articles about people who were arrested for bribery or attempted bribery, it is clear that in my jurisdictions it is indeed illegal. But I don’t know for sure that it is illegal everywhere.

But in a ticket, the officer has wide personal discretion whether to prosecute or just give a warning, when it is clear that the crime has already been committed. Where does “Sir-with-a-smile” cross the line into unlawful behavior calculated to inspire lenience?

Presumably when you explicitly offer monetary or other compensation for said lenience.

Police don’t prosecute, they give citations according to the law. Prosecution is done in the courts.

This article from the law enforcement view gives a good explanation of why offering a bribe isn’t a good idea:

TL;DR. It’s highly illegal.

10. Don’t try to bribe the officer.

“One trick I have seen work multiple times is to tell the police officer that the only reason you were speeding was because you had to go to the bathroom,” Ruane tells us.

It’s relatable, it’s not offensive, and can sometimes work—that’s a win-(sometimes)win option. However, don’t take things to the next level and try and bribe your way out of a ticket.

For one, most officers wouldn’t accept a bribe, but in many cases, they couldn’t if they wanted to—they’ve got active badge cams, dash cams, and other recording devices watching their every move.

“[Bribing is] a truly terrible idea,” Bonkiewicz says. “Do not offer money [or anything else] to an officer. That’s a huge aggravating offense, and I guarantee I will write you a citation, if only to document that I did not accept the bribe.”


Read the link I gave above. Bribery is illegal is almost all countries jurisdictions worldwide.

Is it done? Yes. Is it legal. No.

Would a cop be required to report the attempt?

Back to my unanswered question. How about dropping a Benjamin with an “Oops-and-a-smile”? Is that “explicit”? How about a conveniently missing blouse button, again with a smile? Why not just the smile, then, which can be as explicit as you want it to be.

There’s already legal bribery. In Texas, I can get a ticket and pay the fine. For an extra hundred or so, they won’t report it to my insurance company.

In Missouri, they even share that bribe with the private sector. For $50, you can complete an on-line safety course. Let’s see if we can guess whether there is an “illegal” kick-back.

I suspect the officer would ask “Are you trying to bribe me?” and if you say no, leave it at that. If you say or imply yes, you’ll be cited for trying to bribe hm/her. Per the quote I cited above, it’s a matter of CYA for the officer.

The key is police have discretionary power. There’s no black and white when it comes to citations. You could be doing 100mph, be pulled over and just get a warning, or could be cited for speeding and anything else that the officer may find, broken headlight, no license light, not signaling, etc. if you give them a hard time or try to bribe them.

Could you provide a link to where that’s stated? I suspect the $100 goes to something something similar to what jtur88 mentioned. To some sort of benevolent safety fund. Similar to having points taken/kept off your public record, which is all the insurance sees by agreeing to take driver’s education courses.

I once got a ticket that I felt was wrong as I had not yet entered the city limits (clearly marked) when my radar detector went off and I was below the speed limit when I crossed the line. In court the bailiff asked everyone who was going to plead guilty to talk to the prosecutor. I stated my case and he said, I’ll tell you what, how about we cut the fine in half and no points on your record"? I took the deal. This particular court was a mayor’s court (no longer legal in Ohio) and if you plead not guilty the case was tried at the county court and the arresting jurisdiction only got a percentage of any fines.

It is certainly bribery if you offer a public official who has discretion to decide a case money or sexual favours in exchange for exercising this discretion in a particular way.

‘’'You have the personal discretion, ticket or warning. Only you know what criteria you use. Is there anything I can do to influence your choice?" Is that an offer of a bribe? It is the officer who has brought his personal discretion to the table.

To an officer with a body camera, that pretty much ensures that you’re getting a ticket.

Discretion is not the same thing as arbitrariness. It does not mean the person who has discretion is free to follow any whim or to take the decision on the basis of any criterion he or she wants to. Rather, discretion means that the person who has discretion can choose between different possible courses of action but must make have a good and valid reason for making the choice in a particular way.

If you’re lucky it’s just a ticket. You might be arrested for attempted bribery.