Impersonating a Peace Officer
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False impersonation, in general, is a crime. When it relates to a specific category of individuals whose job it is to protect the public, such criminal behavior will be frowned upon. A peace officer is charged with the awesome responsibility of law enforcement. Their authority is the basis for compliance by members of the public.
If you are found impersonating a peace officer, you will be charged and may face serious consequences under California Penal Code 538(d) PC. Your first step to protecting your rights is to hire a San Diego crimes against the government attorney.
What Do I Need to Know About Impersonating a Peace Officer?
The key to understanding the offense of impersonating a peace officer is to first have an idea of the individuals that fall under this professional category. The public will generally identify
a police officer or sheriff as a peace officer, but there are a number of other law enforcement titles which would fit into this definition. The net is wide enough to include custom officers and correctional officers.
The other aspect of the crime is what is considered to be the act of impersonation. The prohibited behavior will include wearing, showing or using the badge or any other item that is used by or represents the authority of a peace officer. The intent that must be proven is willful attempt or actual exercise of that authority.
Can I Go to Jail for Impersonating a Peace Officer?
Impersonating a peace officer is considered a misdemeanor under California law and penalties include jail time. If you are found guilty by a court for this offense, you can face upwards of 180 days behind bars. The length of time will depend on the specifics of your case and your criminal history. A judge at sentencing will also have the discretion of imposing probation instead of jail time.
In addition to jail time, there are other penalties that can be imposed at sentencing if you are found guilty of impersonating a peace officer. Such penalties could include fines or community service. Even with the lightest sentencing, a conviction is a stain on your record and could significantly affect your ability to secure meaningful employment in the future. For this reason, it is important to hire a San Diego police impersonation defense attorney from the start.
Can You Help Defend My Case?
In every criminal matter, the person charged is deemed innocent until he or she pleads guilty or is convicted by a court of law. Accordingly, there is always a chance of winning your case. However, your defense starts from the point of arrest. It is critical that you hire an attorney who will be able to carry out the required investigation and research to prepare your case.
A case is not only won at trial. There are a number of steps prior to trial that presents opportunities for your charges to be reduced and in many cases even dropped. An experienced San Diego police impersonation defense attorney will assess your case and make the right decisions on whether there are sufficient grounds to substantiate the dismissal of your charges.
If your case proceeds to trial, it will be important to have a sound defense prepared. Your defense could include false accusation or that the impersonation was part of a theater or television production.
A San Diego Police Impersonation Defense Attorney With McElfresh Law Can Help
At McElfresh Law, we understand the ins and out of the criminal judicial systems. Our lawyers have dedicated years of their legal practice to providing high-quality legal representation to individuals charged with a variety of offenses, inclusive of impersonating a peace officer.
We understand that this can be a very hard time for you and your family. Accordingly, you can trust us to do what we do best – which is to invest our human and physical resources into delivering criminal defense representation that you can trust. Call us today at (858) 756-7107 and let us be your San Diego police impersonator defense lawyer of choice.