It is a crime to impersonate a police officer, a federal officer or employee, or any other public official. Although the laws vary from state to states, many states also consider it a crime to use equipment used by law enforcement officers, such as red and blue flashing lights. It also may be a crime to flash a fake police badge. Possession of a firearm also can enhance the penalty for false impersonation of a police officer.

What Are the Penalties for Impersonating a Police Officer?

Depending on state law, impersonating a police officer may be considered either a felony or a misdemeanor. Punishments for impersonating a police officer include:

  • Imprisonment up to five years (sometimes more)
  • Fines (usually $1000 or more)
  • Probation
  • Permanent criminal record

Do I Need a Lawyer?

If you have been charged with impersonating a police officer, an experienced criminal defense attorney can advise you of your legal rights and defenses, and help guide you through the complicated legal process.