Section 284 under the Penal Law prescribes that it is possible to convict a civil servant of the offense of breach of allegiance should it be proven that he had committed an act of breach of allegiance or fraud, when serving in office, and this even where such an act had not been deemed an offense if it had been committed against an individual.


A civil servant committing, while serving in office, an act of fraud or breach of allegiance compromising the public, even where such an act not constitute an offense had it been committed against an individual, is expected to be sentenced to three years’ imprisonment. Pursuant to this section, breach of allegiance may be any action taken by a civil servant in conflict of interest. So basically, even where such had not constituted a criminal offense had it been committed by a private person, when a civil servant carries out actions that may compromise the public trust, he may be charged with serious offenses of fraud and breach of allegiance.


The criminal prohibition on breach of allegiance is intended to maintain the protected values that protect the image of public service, maintaining integrity and fair and honest conduct as well as protection of the public interest.

Risks and punishment

A civil servant violating the trust that had been vested in him and acts in a manner that does not realize the interest he had been entrusted with – is breaching allegiance

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This expresses the desire to prevent a civil servant from being placed in a situation where due to accepting a gift from one who needs his services places himself in a position of obligation and expectation of reciprocity, which may affect his governmental judgment, as well as the wish to prevent a civil servant from being in a situation of conflict of interest and exercise his powers for personal intents, as his mere being in this situation compromises the public trust in public service.

Civil servants who had betrayed their positions, have blatantly and severely violated their work practices, while inflicting significant harm to the public trust, will be charged for breach of allegiance, aiming at protecting the values of integrity and public trust.


Section 284 under the Penal Law prescribes a sentence of up to 3 years of imprisonment in practice. Pursuant to the section, the offense is materialized when a civil servant, at any level, exercises his powers, for his own personal benefit for generating a benefit in any form.

Why is it recommended to be assisted by a law firm in the case of an offense of breach of allegiance?

If you have been summoned for questioning or criminal trial due to fraud and breach of allegiance you need an experienced criminal defense attorney who will assist you in managing the legal proceedings against you, whether such is a police investigation or in court, as such is a criminal offense the results of which may be very severe, including a very real possibility of staying behind bars.

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