Falsely Impersonating an Officer in Florida

Under Florida Statute 843.08, the crime of Falsely Impersonating an Officer is committed when a person:

  1. Falsely assumes or pretends to be a law enforcement officer; [1] and
  2. Takes it upon himself or herself to act as a law enforcement officer. [2]

Enhanceable Elements

The crime of has two aggravating elements that, if alleged, can enhance the possible penalties. These aggravating elements are:

  1. Falsely Impersonating a law enforcement during the course of the commission of a felony; and
  2. If the commission of the felony results in the death or personal injury of another human being.

If the first element is alleged to exist, the crime of Falsely Impersonating an Officer will be enhanced to a Second Degree Felony. If both elements are alleged to exist, the crime of Falsely Impersonating an Officer will be enhanced to a First Degree Felony.

Penalties for Falsely Impersonating an Officer

The crime of Falsely Impersonating an Officer is a Third Degree Felony in Florida and is punishable by up to five (5) years in prison, five (5) years of probation, and a $5,000 fine.

Falsely Impersonating an Officer is assigned a Level 2 offense severity ranking under Florida's Criminal Punishment Code. A judge may sentence a person convicted of Falsely Impersonating an Officer to probation, but may also impose a sentence up to the statutory maximum of five years in prison.

Falsely Impersonating an Officer in the Commission of a Felony

The crime of Falsely Impersonating an Officer in the Commission of a Felony is a Second Degree Felony in Florida and is punishable by up to fifteen (15) years in prison, fifteen (15) years of probation, and $10,000 in fines.

Falsely Impersonating an Officer in the Commission of a Felony is assigned a Level 4 offense severity ranking under Florida's Criminal Punishment Code. A judge may sentence a person convicted of Falsely Impersonating an Officer in the Commission of a Felony to probation, but may also impose a sentence up to the statutory maximum of five years in prison.

Falsely Impersonating an Officer in the Commission of a Felony Causing Injury or Death

The crime of Falsely Impersonating an Officer in the Commission of a Felony Causing Injury or Death is a First Degree Felony in Florida and is punishable by up to thirty (30) years in prison, thirty (30) years of probation, and $10,000 in fines.

Falsely Impersonating an Officer in the Commission of a Felony Causing Injury or Death is assigned a Level 7 offense severity ranking under Florida's Criminal Punishment Code.

Absent grounds for a downward departure sentence, a judge is required to sentence a person convicted of Falsely Impersonating an Officer in the Commission of a Felony Causing Injury or Death to a minimum sentence of 51 months in prison, but may also sentence the person up to the statutory maximum of thirty (30) years in prison.

Defenses to Falsely Impersonating an Officer

In addition to the pretrial defenses and trial defenses that can be raised in any criminal case, specific defenses to the crime of Falsely Impersonating an Officer are:

Patently Ridiculous Personation

If a person's portrayal of a law enforcement officer is so patently ridiculous, such as a person dressed up on Halloween, then the person's conduct would not be considered criminal.

Contact Criminal Defense Lawyer Richard Hornsby

If you have been arrested or charged with the crime of Falsely Impersonating an Officer in Central Florida or the greater Orlando area, please contact Orlando Criminal Defense Lawyer today.

The initial consultation is free and I am always available to advise you on the proper course of action that can be taken.

References

  1. Lewis v State, 97 So.3d 285 (Fla. 4th DCA 2012).
  2. Azerzer v. State, 96 So. 3d 1123 (Fla. 5th DCA 2012)