Impersonating an Officer in Florida
Any time an individual impersonates a law enforcement official or police officer, they’re committing a serious offense. It’s unwise to take on the identity of a police officer, even if you intend it to be a joke.
Florida Statute 843.08 defines the criminal charge of Falsely Impersonating an Officer as anyone who falsely assumes or pretends to be a(n):
- Florida Highway Patrolman
- Officer of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
- Officer of Environmental Protections
- Correctional Probation Officer
- Deputy Sheriff
- State Attorney Investigator
- …and many more
Any time a person takes it upon themselves to act as one of these officers, they’re subject to charges and penalties as defined by Florida law.
What are the Penalties for Impersonating an Officer in Florida?
In Florida, Impersonating an Officer is considered a Third-Degree Felony. That means any individual convicted of the crime will face penalties that include:
- Up to 5 years of probation
- Up to 5 years incarceration
- Up to $5,000 in fines
The specific penalties that an individual faces will depend on the specific circumstances surrounding the case. If you’ve been charged with Impersonating an Officer, it’s essential to seek legal counsel to help you build a viable defense strategy.
What is Impersonating an Officer with Enhanceable Elements?
If a person has been convicted of Impersonating an Officer in the past, the penalties they face are more severe. Other elements that enhance the offense include:
- Falsely Impersonating an Officer during the course of a felony
- Falsely Impersonating an Officer during a crime that results in death or personal injury of another individual
It’s important to understand that the occurrence of one of these enhancers makes Impersonating an Officer a Second-Degree Felony. Penalties for Second-Degree Felonies include:
- Up to 10 years of probation
- Up to 10 years incarceration
- Up to $15,000 in fines
If two of the enhancers are present, the individual is charged with a First-Degree Felony. Penalties for First-Degree Felonies include:
- Up to 30 years of probation
- Up to 30 years of incarceration
- Up to $10,000 in fines
A knowledgeable defense lawyer will have a good understanding of defense strategies for each of the aforementioned charges.
Defense Strategies for Falsely Impersonating an Officer in Florida
The most experienced defense attorneys know that a viable defense strategy is dependent on the circumstances surrounding the case. When you hire an attorney with experience defending individuals who have been charged with Impersonating an Officer, they will work hard to gather all the details of your case in a sensitive manner. The most common defense strategies for Falsely Impersonating an Officer in Florida include:
- Patently ridiculous impersonation (dressing up as a police officer on Halloween)
- Mistaken Identity
- Lack of evidence
There are also specific defense strategies lawyers can use before the trial to mitigate the charges an individual faces before they have to stand before a judge.
Hire the Orlando Criminal Defense Firm that Believes in Second Chances
If you’ve been charged with Impersonating an Officer, your best choice is to hire a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney. In the Orlando area, the most trusted criminal defense attorneys are at The Umansky Law Firm. With more than 100 years of combined experience as attorneys and prosecutors, they bring a unique point of view to every case.
At The Umansky Law Firm, we believe everyone deserves a second chance and that your life should not be defined by a single mistake. To get started on a path toward a future free of criminal charges, you should contact The Umansky Law Firm today. Call our office at 407-228-3838 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.