No, You Can’t Bribe the Police to Get Out of Criminal Charges

October 26, 2023 Criminal Defense

There are plenty of things you should not do around the police. Bribing law enforcement to prevent an arrest is one of those things. The state of Florida, along with the federal government, has specific laws and methods of handling criminal activity. There is no chance of bribery working to prevent being charged with a crime.

Instead, the most important thing to do when facing an arrest or charge is to contact a defense attorney in your area. A legal professional can help you fight the charges against you and try to win back your freedom.

This page will provide a recent Florida case where the defendant attempted to bribe the police, along with the penalties in Florida for bribery and false imprisonment of a minor under 13.

Case Example

Police in the North Bay Village arrested Youssef Elzein, 27, of Miami after her allegedly terrorized a woman and her children. According to the local news report, Elzein had previously been in a relationship with the mother of two and entered her apartment through the unlocked sliding glass door without her permission.

When the mother arrived home with her 6- and 14-year-old, they were greeted by Elzein who answered the door. The report indicated that Elzein “rapidly” opened her front door and physically pulled them inside when she tried to exit through the complex elevator.

Elzein then “shoved” them into the apartment and barricaded himself in front of the door to prevent them from leaving. The woman told her son to call the police while she grabbed her gun. The teen grabbed a knife and threatened Elzein, to which Elzein responded by placing the teenage boy in a headlock and disarming him.

The mother returned with a firearm and told Elzein to release her son. Not long after, the police arrived. Elzein’s first response was claiming that he had no idea why the police had been called, claiming that he and his girlfriend had been drinking and he had accidentally shattered her fish tank, resulting in the cuts on his hands and feet.

Elzein changed his story again, stating that the woman had given him a key so he could wait for her to arrive home. After hearing the full details of the incident, police attempted to bring Elzein into custody. The suspect then proceeded to kick and headbutt a North Bay Village police officer and two assisting Miami Beach police officers “multiple times.”

Finally, Elzein attempted to bribe officer Ethan Cherasia by telling him he could “have everything on [his] wrist” if he didn’t arrest him, additionally saying, “take care of me and I’ll take care of you; you don’t have to arrest me.”

Police ended up arresting Elzein and charging him with a total of 14 felony and misdemeanor counts. The charges include burglary, bribery, false imprisonment of a child under 13, child abuse, and resisting an officer with violence.

Florida Penalties for Bribery

Bribery is defined under Florida Statute Section 838.015 as when a person knowingly and intentionally gives, offers, or promises any pecuniary or other benefit not authorized by law with the intent to influence the performance of any act or omission which the person believes is within the official discretion of a public servant in violation of a public duty.

In other words, bribery occurs when goods or services are offered (or, from the other direction, solicited by a public servant) in order to influence the official conduct of a public servant, including police officers.

A person accused of bribing a law enforcement officer or other public servant can be charged with a second-degree felony. A conviction for a second-degree felony carries up to a $10,000 fine and up to 15 years in prison.

How to Properly Handle Police Interactions

There are proper ways to handle police encounters and ways that you should avoid acting. If a police officer is attempting to arrest you, the best thing you can do is remain calm and hire an experienced Tallahassee defense attorney. By arguing or trying to fight back, you could be facing even more criminal charges as Mr. Elzein did in the example case above. You should certainly never engage in openly criminal conduct such as offering bribes to law enforcement officers.

Read more about escalated police interactions and how to conduct yourself during an incident with police in our blog post here.

Contact Pumphrey Law Firm

While not every case may result in 14 collective charges, it is always important that you consider hiring a defense attorney if faced with criminal charges. The state of Florida takes attempts of bribery to law enforcement very seriously. The reality is this: you cannot talk your way out of criminal charges, nor can you try to use money or other forms of payment to try and get yourself out of criminal charges. Your best bet is to hire an experienced Tallahassee criminal defense attorney who can help you strategize defenses, provide you with legal insight, and make sure that none of your rights are violated during criminal proceedings.

Contact Pumphrey Law Firm today to receive a free consultation of your criminal case. Contact us at (850) 681-7777 or leave us a message online.

Written by Karissa Key

Back to Top