Thank you for asking me “How do you Impersonate a Law Enforcement Officer in FL?”
F.S. 843.08 makes it a crime for you to hold yourself out to be a law enforcement officer AND, while doing so, to pretend to do something in the capacity of a law enforcement officer.
It is not enough that you wear a shirt or a hat that says “POLICE” or even that you have a badge or a ballistic vest… it is what you do with those items that will differentiate between you exercising of your 1st Amendment right and your committing the crime of Falsely Personating a LEO.
So if I’m wearing my super cool police muscle t-shirt at the supermarket and someone asks me if I’m a cop and I say yes I have not committed a crime. I may be a liar and a BS artist, but I have a 1st Amendment right to go that far. But, if I ratchet it up to the next level by taking any action as if I were a cop – like asking the person for identification, or by trying to conduct a frisk – well then the 1st Amendment line has been crossed and a real cop would be justified in arresting and informing me my other constitutional rights.
Falsely personating a LEO is a 3rd degree felony punishable by up to 5 years in state prison, but if you do so during the commission of a felony (like, for example, you commit a burglary or a robbery while dressed as a cop) then the crime is enhanced to a 2nd degree felony that is punishable by up to 15 years in state prison.
At Michael A. Haber, PA “it’s all about reasonable doubt”!
Please note that no attorney-client relationship with either Michael A. Haber, PA or Michael A. Haber, Esq. exists as a result of your watching this Webisode series. Further any and all information which is both contained in and may be construed from this Webisode series is generic in nature and should only be considered as informational and not as actual legal advise in any specific case. Should you wish to seek actual legal advise then please feel free to contact Michael A. Haber, Esq. as follows:
Office Phone: 305-381-8686
Toll Free Phone: 1-888-SHARK-8-1
Cellular Phone / Text: 305-798-2220
E-Mail: [email protected] / [email protected]
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