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§ 9-201. Bribery of public employee

West's Annotated Code of MarylandCriminal LawEffective: October 1, 2017

West's Annotated Code of Maryland
Criminal Law (Refs & Annos)
Title 9. Crimes Against Public Administration
Subtitle 2. Bribery
Effective: October 1, 2017
MD Code, Criminal Law, § 9-201
Formerly cited as MD CODE Art. 27, § 22
§ 9-201. Bribery of public employee
Definitions
(a)(1) In this section the following words have the meanings indicated.
(2) “Political subdivision” includes a:
(i) county;
(ii) municipal corporation;
(iii) bi-county or multicounty agency;
(iv) county board of education;
(v) public authority; or
(vi) special taxing district that is not a homeowner's association.
(3)(i) “Public employee” means an officer or employee of:
1. the State; or
2. a political subdivision of the State.
(ii) “Public employee” includes:
1. an executive officer of the State;
2. a judge of the State;
3. a judicial officer of the State;
4. a member or officer of the General Assembly;
5. a member of the police force of Baltimore City or the Department of State Police; and
6. a member, officer, or executive officer of a political subdivision.
Prohibited--Bribing public employee
(b) A person may not bribe or attempt to bribe a public employee to influence the public employee in the performance of an official duty of the public employee.
Prohibited--Public employee demanding or receiving bribe
(c) A public employee may not demand or receive a bribe, fee, reward, or testimonial to:
(1) influence the performance of the official duties of the public employee; or
(2) neglect or fail to perform the official duties of the public employee.
Penalty
(d) A person who violates this section is guilty of the misdemeanor of bribery and on conviction:
(1) is subject to imprisonment for not less than 2 years and not exceeding 12 years or a fine not less than $1,000 and not exceeding $10,000 or both;
(2) may not vote; and
(3) may not hold an office of trust or profit in the State.
Statute of limitations and in banc review
(e) A person who violates this section is subject to § 5-106(b) of the Courts Article.
Competency and immunity of witness in prosecution
(f)(1) A person who violates this section:
(i) is a competent witness; and
(ii) subject to paragraph (2) of this subsection, may be compelled to testify against any person who may have violated this section.
(2) A person compelled to testify for the State under paragraph (1) of this subsection is immune from prosecution for a crime about which the person was compelled to testify.

Credits

Added by Acts 2002, c. 26, § 2, eff. Oct. 1, 2002. Amended by Acts 2006, c. 430, § 1, eff. Oct. 1, 2006; Acts 2017, c. 31, § 1, eff. Oct. 1, 2017.
Formerly Art. 27, § 22.

Editors' Notes

LEGISLATIVE NOTES
Revisor's Note (Acts 2002, c. 26):
This section is new language derived without substantive change from former Art. 27, § 22.
Subsection (a) of this section is revised as a definition to avoid repetition of phrases, such as “executive officer of the State of Maryland”, “any judge”, “or other judicial officer of this State”, and “any member or officer of the General Assembly of Maryland”. The former specific references to “Governor” and “mayor” are deleted as included within the illustrative examples of “public officer or employee” in subsection (a)(2) of this section.
In subsection (d) of this section, the former reference to a sentence being “in the discretion of the court” is deleted as implicit in the reference to a person being “subject to” a fine and imprisonment.
Also in subsection (d) of this section, the former reference to being “disfranchised and disqualified from holding any” office of trust or profit in the State is revised as “(2) may not vote; and (3) may not hold an” office of trust or profit in the State for clarity. See Md. Constitution, Art. I, § 6 and Art. III, § 50.
In subsection (e) of this section, the reference to a violation being “subject to § 5-106(b) of the Courts Article” is substituted for the former reference to the violation subjecting the defendant to imprisonment “in the penitentiary of this State” for clarity and consistency within this article. See General Revisor's Note to article.
In subsection (f)(2) of this section, the phrase “immune from prosecution for a crime about which the person was compelled to testify” is substituted for the former phrase “exempt from prosecution, ... for any such crime of which such person so testifying may have been guilty or a participant therein, and about which he was so compelled to testify” for clarity.
Also in subsection (f)(2) of this section, because immunity from prosecution precludes trial and punishment, the former references to “trial” and “punishment” are deleted as unnecessary.
For provisions on testimony from convicted perjurers and from compelled witnesses generally, see CJ §§ 9-104 and 9-123, respectively.
The Criminal Law Article Review Committee notes, for the consideration of the General Assembly, that subsection (f) of this section, which allows a witness to be compelled to testify and provides transactional immunity for that testimony, raises significant constitutional concerns under the 5th and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, and their State counterpart, Art. 22 of the Md. Declaration of Rights. See, e.g., Evans v. State, 333 Md. 660 (1994), cert. denied, 513 U.S. 833 (1994); In re Criminal Investigation No. 1-162, 307 Md. 674 (1986). The relevant constitutional provisions generally prohibit self-incrimination. The granting of some form of immunity against prosecution arising from compelled incriminating testimony does not, of itself, cure the constitutional defect. The General Assembly may wish to explore the scope of immunity that may be required to allow compelled testimony in harmony with federal and State constitutional precedent. This provision raises the same concerns as § 9-204(d) of this subtitle, below.
As to the authority of the legislature to enact penalties for common-law bribery and attempted bribery, see Md. Constitution, Art. I, § 6 and Art. III, § 50.
Defined terms: “County” § 1-101
“Person” § 1-101
HISTORICAL AND STATUTORY NOTES
2006 Legislation
Acts 2006, c. 430, § 1, rewrote subsec. (a), which previously read:
“(a) In this section, ‘public employee’:
“(1) means an officer or employee of:
“(i) the State; or
“(ii) a county, municipal corporation, bicounty or multicounty agency, or other political subdivision of the State; and
“(2) includes:
“(i) an executive officer of the State;
“(ii) a judge of the State;
“(iii) a judicial officer of the State;
“(iv) a member or officer of the General Assembly;
“(v) a member of the police force of Baltimore City or the Department of State Police; and
“(vi) a member, officer, or executive officer of a municipal corporation.”
2017 Legislation
Acts 2017, c. 31, § 1, in (d)(1), substituted “a fine not less than $1,000 and not exceeding $10,000” for “a fine not less than $100 and not exceeding $5,000”.
Derivation:
Former Art. 27, § 22, related to public officers offering or receiving bribes, repealed by Acts 2002, c. 26, § 1.
MD Code, Criminal Law, § 9-201, MD CRIM LAW § 9-201
Current through legislation effective July 1, 2019, from the 2019 Regular Session of the General Assembly.
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