Code of the District of Columbia

Chapter 7. Bribery; Obstructing Justice; Corrupt Influence.


Subchapter I. Corrupt Influence.

§ 22–701. Definition and penalty [Repealed]

Repealed.


(Dec. 1, 1982, D.C. Law 4-164, § 602(b)-(d), 29 DCR 3976.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., §§ 22-701 to 22-703.


§ 22–702. Offering or receiving money, property, or valuable consideration to procure office or promotion from Council [Repealed]

Repealed.


(Dec. 1, 1982, D.C. Law 4-164, § 602(b)-(d), 29 DCR 3976.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., §§ 22-701 to 22-703.


§ 22–703. Obstructing justice [Repealed]

Repealed.


(Dec. 1, 1982, D.C. Law 4-164, § 602(b)-(d), 29 DCR 3976.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., §§ 22-701 to 22-703.


§ 22–704. Corrupt influence; officials.

(a) Whosoever corruptly, directly or indirectly, gives any money, or other bribe, present, reward, promise, contract, obligation, or security for the payment of any money, present, reward, or thing of value to any ministerial, administrative, executive, or judicial officer of the District of Columbia, or any employee, or other person acting in any capacity for the District of Columbia, or any agency thereof, either before or after the officer, employee, or other person acting in any capacity for the District of Columbia is qualified, with intent to influence such official’s action on any matter which is then pending, or may by law come or be brought before such official in such official’s official capacity, or to cause such official to execute any of the powers in such official vested, or to perform any duties of such official required, with partiality or favor, or otherwise than is required by law, or in consideration that such official being authorized in the line of such official’s duty to contract for any advertising or for the furnishing of any labor or material, shall directly or indirectly arrange to receive or shall receive, or shall withhold from the parties so contracted with, any portion of the contract price, whether that price be fixed by law or by agreement, or in consideration that such official has nominated or appointed any person to any office or exercised any power in such official vested, or performed any duty of such official required, with partiality or favor, or otherwise contrary to law; and whosoever, being such an official, shall receive any such money, bribe, present, or reward, promise, contract, obligation, or security, with intent or for the purpose or consideration aforesaid shall be deemed guilty of bribery and upon conviction thereof shall be punished by imprisonment for a term not less than 6 months nor more than 5 years. In addition to any other penalty provided under this section, a person may be fined an amount not more than the amount set forth in § 22-3571.01.

(b) Whosoever corrupts or attempts, directly or indirectly, to corrupt any special master, auditor, juror, arbitrator, umpire, or referee, by giving, offering, or promising any gift or gratuity whatever, with intent to bias the opinion, or influence the decision of such official, in relation to any matter pending in the court, or before an inquest, or for the decision of which such arbitrator, umpire, or referee has been chosen or appointed, and every official who receives, or offers or agrees to receive, a bribe in any of the cases above mentioned shall be guilty of bribery and upon conviction thereof shall be punished as hereinbefore provided.


(Feb. 26, 1936, 49 Stat. 1143, ch. 87; May 21, 1994, D.C. Law 10-119, § 5, 41 DCR 1639; June 11, 2013, D.C. Law 19-317, § 308, 60 DCR 2064.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 22-704.

1973 Ed., § 22-704.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 23-546.

Effect of Amendments

The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 19-317 added the last sentence in (a).

Cross References

Bribery, see § 22-712.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 308 of the Criminal Fine Proportionality Emergency Act of 2013 (D.C. Act 20-45, April 1, 2013, 60 DCR 5400, 20 DCSTAT 1300).

Editor's Notes

Applicability of D.C. Law 19-317: Section 401 of D.C. Law 19-317 provided that the act shall apply only to offenses committed on or after June 11, 2013.


Subchapter II. Bribery.

§ 22–711. Definitions.

For the purposes of this subchapter, the term:

(1) “Court of the District of Columbia” means the Superior Court of the District of Columbia or the District of Columbia Court of Appeals.

(2) “Juror” means any grand, petit, or other juror, or any person selected or summoned as a prospective juror of the District of Columbia.

(3) “Official action” means any decision, opinion, recommendation, judgment, vote, or other conduct that involves an exercise of discretion on the part of the public servant.

(4) “Official duty” means any required conduct that does not involve an exercise of discretion on the part of the public servant.

(5) “Official proceeding” means any trial, hearing, investigation, or other proceeding in a court of the District of Columbia or conducted by the Council of the District of Columbia or an agency or department of the District of Columbia government, or a grand jury proceeding.

(6) “Public servant” means any officer, employee, or other person authorized to act for or on behalf of the District of Columbia government. The term “public servant” includes any person who has been elected, nominated, or appointed to be a public servant or a juror. The term “public servant” does not include an independent contractor.


(Dec. 1, 1982, D.C. Law 4-164, § 301, 29 DCR 3976; May 7, 1993, D.C. Law 9-268, § 2(a), 39 DCR 5702.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 22-711.


§ 22–712. Prohibited acts; penalty.

(a) A person commits the offense of bribery if that person:

(1) Corruptly offers, gives, or agrees to give anything of value, directly or indirectly, to a public servant; or

(2) Corruptly solicits, demands, accepts, or agrees to accept anything of value, directly or indirectly, as a public servant;

in return for an agreement or understanding that an official act of the public servant will be influenced thereby or that the public servant will violate an official duty, or that the public servant will commit, aid in committing, or will collude in or allow any fraud against the District of Columbia.

(b) Nothing in this section shall be construed as prohibiting concurrence in official action in the course of legitimate compromise between public servants.

(c) Any person convicted of bribery shall be fined not more than the amount set forth in § 22-3571.01 or twice the monetary equivalent of the thing of value, whichever is greater, or imprisoned for not more than 10 years, or both.


(Dec. 1, 1982, D.C. Law 4-164, § 302, 29 DCR 3976; June 11, 2013, D.C. Law 19-317, §§ 111(a)(3), 205(v), 60 DCR 2064.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 22-712.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 23-546.

Effect of Amendments

The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 19-317, in (c), substituted “not more than the amount set forth in § 22-3571.01” for “not more than $25,000,” and “twice” for “3 times”.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see §§ 111(a)(3) and 205(v) of the Criminal Fine Proportionality Emergency Amendment Act of 2013 (D.C. Act 20-45, April 1, 2013, 60 DCR 5400, 20 DCSTAT 1300).

Editor's Notes

Applicability of D.C. Law 19-317: Section 401 of D.C. Law 19-317 provided that the act shall apply only to offenses committed on or after June 11, 2013.


§ 22–713. Bribery of witness; penalty.

(a) A person commits the offense of bribery of a witness if that person:

(1) Corruptly offers, gives, or agrees to give to another person; or

(2) Corruptly solicits, demands, accepts, or agrees to accept from another person;

anything of value in return for an agreement or understanding that the testimony of the recipient will be influenced in an official proceeding before any court of the District of Columbia or any agency or department of the District of Columbia government, or that the recipient will absent himself or herself from such proceedings.

(b) Nothing in subsection (a) of this section shall be construed to prohibit the payment or receipt of witness fees provided by law, or the payment by the party upon whose behalf a witness is called and receipt by a witness of a reasonable cost of travel and subsistence incurred and the reasonable value of time lost in attendance at any such proceeding, or, in case of expert witnesses, a reasonable fee for time spent in the preparation of a technical or professional opinion and appearing and testifying.

(c) Any person convicted of bribery of a witness shall be fined not more than the amount set forth in § 22-3571.01 or imprisoned for not more than 5 years, or both.


(Dec. 1, 1982, D.C. Law 4-164, § 303, 29 DCR 3976; June 11, 2013, D.C. Law 19-317, § 205(w), 60 DCR 2064.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 22-713.

Effect of Amendments

The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 19-317 substituted “not more than the amount set forth in § 22-3571.01” for “not more than $2,500” in (c).

Cross References

Obstruction of justice, see § 22-722.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 205(w) of the Criminal Fine Proportionality Emergency Act of 2013 (D.C. Act 20-45, April 1, 2013, 60 DCR 5400, 20 DCSTAT 1300).

Editor's Notes

Applicability of D.C. Law 19-317: Section 401 of D.C. Law 19-317 provided that the act shall apply only to offenses committed on or after June 11, 2013.


Subchapter III. Obstructing Justice.

§ 22–721. Definitions.

For the purpose of this subchapter, the term:

(1) “Court of the District of Columbia” means the Superior Court of the District of Columbia or the District of Columbia Court of Appeals.

(2) “Criminal investigator” means an individual authorized by the Mayor or the Mayor’s designated agent to conduct or engage in a criminal investigation, or a prosecuting attorney conducting or engaged in a criminal investigation.

(3) “Criminal investigation” means an investigation of a violation of any criminal statute in effect in the District of Columbia.

(4) “Official proceeding” means any trial, hearing, investigation, or other proceeding in a court of the District of Columbia or conducted by the Council of the District of Columbia or an agency or department of the District of Columbia government, or a grand jury proceeding.


(Dec. 1, 1982, D.C. Law 4-164, § 501, 29 DCR 3976; May 7, 1993, D.C. Law 9-268, § 2(b), 39 DCR 5702.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 22-721.


§ 22–722. Prohibited acts; penalty.

(a) A person commits the offense of obstruction of justice if that person:

(1) Knowingly uses intimidation or physical force, threatens or corruptly persuades another person, or by threatening letter or communication, endeavors to influence, intimidate, or impede a juror in the discharge of the juror’s official duties;

(2) Knowingly uses intimidating or physical force, threatens or corruptly persuades another person, or by threatening letter or communication, endeavors to influence, intimidate, or impede a witness or officer in any official proceeding, with intent to:

(A) Influence, delay, or prevent the truthful testimony of the person in an official proceeding;

(B) Cause or induce the person to withhold truthful testimony or a record, document, or other object from an official proceeding;

(C) Evade a legal process that summons the person to appear as a witness or produce a document in an official proceeding; or

(D) Cause or induce the person to be absent from a legal official proceeding to which the person has been summoned by legal process;

(3) Harasses another person with the intent to hinder, delay, prevent, or dissuade the person from:

(A) Attending or testifying truthfully in an official proceeding;

(B) Reporting to a law enforcement officer the commission of, or any information concerning, a criminal offense;

(C) Arresting or seeking the arrest of another person in connection with the commission of a criminal offense; or

(D) Causing a criminal prosecution or a parole or probation revocation proceeding to be sought or instituted, or assisting in a prosecution or other official proceeding;

(4) Injures or threatens to injure any person or his or her property on account of the person or any other person giving to a criminal investigator in the course of any criminal investigation information related to a violation of any criminal statute in effect in the District of Columbia;

(5) Injures or threatens to injure any person or his or her property on account of the person or any other person performing his official duty as a juror, witness, or officer in any court in the District of Columbia; or

(6) Corruptly, or by threats of force, any way obstructs or impedes or endeavors to obstruct or impede the due administration of justice in any official proceeding.

(b) Any person convicted of obstruction of justice shall be sentenced to a maximum period of incarceration of not less than 3 years and not more than 30 years, or shall be fined not more than the amount set forth in § 22-3571.01, or both. For purposes of imprisonment following revocation of release authorized by § 24-403.01, obstruction of justice is a Class A felony.


(Dec. 1, 1982, D.C. Law 4-164, § 502, 29 DCR 3976; May 7, 1993, D.C. Law 9-268, § 2(c), 39 DCR 5702; May 23, 1995, D.C. Law 10-256, § 3, 42 DCR 20; June 8, 2001, D.C. Law 13-302, § 5, 47 DCR 7249; Dec. 10, 2009, D.C. Law 18-88, § 214(m), 56 DCR 7413; June 11, 2013, D.C. Law 19-317, § 205(bb), 60 DCR 2064.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 22-722.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 23-546, § 23-1322, and § 24-112.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 13-302, in subsec. (b), in the first sentence, substituted “30 years” for “life”; and added the second sentence.

D.C. Law 18-88, in subsecs. (a)(4), (5), substituted “Injures or threatens to injure” for “Injures”.

The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 19-317 substituted “not more than the amount set forth in § 22-3571.01” for “not more than $10,000” in (b).

Cross References

Detention prior to trial, applicability to offenses under this section, see § 23-1322.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90-day) amendment of section, see § 5 of the Sentencing Reform Emergency Amendment Act of 2000 (D.C. Act 13-410, August 11, 2000, 47 DCR 7271).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 5 of the Sentencing Reform Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2001 (D.C. Act 13-462, November 7, 2000, 47 DCR 9443).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 5 of Sentencing Reform Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2001 (D.C. Act 14-2, February 2, 2001, 48 DCR 2239).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 5 of Sentencing Reform Second Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2001 (D.C. Act 14-51, May 2, 2001, 48 DCR 4370).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 102(l) of Crime Bill Emergency Amendment Act of 2009 (D.C. Act 18-129, June 29, 2009, 56 DCR 5495).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 214(m) of Omnibus Public Safety and Justice Emergency Amendment Act of 2009 (D.C. Act 18-181, August 6, 2009, 56 DCR 6903).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 214(m) of Omnibus Public Safety and Justice Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2009 (D.C. Act 18-227, October 21, 2009, 56 DCR 8668).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 205(bb) of the Criminal Fine Proportionality Emergency Act of 2013 (D.C. Act 20-45, April 1, 2013, 60 DCR 5400, 20 DCSTAT 1300).

Editor's Notes

Applicability of D.C. Law 19-317: Section 401 of D.C. Law 19-317 provided that the act shall apply only to offenses committed on or after June 11, 2013.


§ 22–723. Tampering with physical evidence; penalty.

(a) A person commits the offense of tampering with physical evidence if, knowing or having reason to believe an official proceeding has begun or knowing that an official proceeding is likely to be instituted, that person alters, destroys, mutilates, conceals, or removes a record, document, or other object, with intent to impair its integrity or its availability for use in the official proceeding.

(b) Any person convicted of tampering with physical evidence shall be fined not more than the amount set forth in § 22-3571.01, imprisoned for not more than 3 years, or both.


(Dec. 1, 1982, D.C. Law 4-164, § 503, 29 DCR 3976; July 15, 2004, D.C. Law 15-174, § 301, 51 DCR 3677; June 11, 2013, D.C. Law 19-317, § 205(cc), 60 DCR 2064.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 22-723.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 15-174 rewrote subsec. (b) which had read as follows: “(b) Any person convicted of tampering with physical evidence shall be fined not more than $1,000 or imprisoned for not more than 3 years, or both.”

The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 19-317 substituted “not more than the amount set forth in § 22-3571.01” for “not more than $5,000” in (b).

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 205(cc) of the Criminal Fine Proportionality Emergency Act of 2013 (D.C. Act 20-45, April 1, 2013, 60 DCR 5400, 20 DCSTAT 1300).

Editor's Notes

Applicability of D.C. Law 19-317: Section 401 of D.C. Law 19-317 provided that the act shall apply only to offenses committed on or after June 11, 2013.