NRS 199.430: Impersonation of an Officer—Definition, Penalties, & More
Last year in the Reno area, a man was arrested and charged with impersonating an officer by using flashing red and blue lights on his vehicle to force other drivers to the side of the road as he drove from the Washoe Valley to Dayton.
The defendant was not authorized to have the flashing red and blue lights on his vehicle under NRS 484A.480.
It is also illegal to impersonate a peace officer in capacity and thus is considered a serious crime.
Impersonating a police officer isn’t just dressing up like a cop and carrying a fake badge.
This involves actually presenting yourself as an officer of the law in any capacity.
There was a case recently where someone represented themselves as an IRS agent. IRS agents are also considered officers of the law and it is a crime to impersonate them as well.
Even if you don’t put on the uniform and pull people over pretending to be a cop, you can be guilty of the crime of impersonating an officer.
For example, if you call someone and pretend to be a peace officer to get someone to do something based on the fact that you are an officer of the law you can be charged with impersonating an officer.
Common Examples of Impersonating an Officer
Another way that the police or first responders are portrayed by people who are not these officers is for financial gain.
Over the years there have been many scams to raise funds for the first responders or some charity related to the police or fire.
We have heard of many scams involving telemarketers involving operators pretending to either be police or to work for the charity organizations that the police represent, when in fact none of it was true.
As you can see, there are many opportunities for someone to impersonate a peace officer.
If you have been charged with impersonating a peace officer of any kind, this is considered a serious crime and you’ll need the help of an experienced defense attorney to fight against the charges.
The Defenders is a criminal defense firm with offices in Las Vegas and Reno. Our team of skilled attorneys has years of experience defending clients against all types of criminal charges. We understand the serious nature of these charges and are dedicated to providing our clients with a strong defense strategy to protect their rights and future.
What Does It Mean to “ Impersonate an Officer” in Nevada
In Nevada, the impersonation of a peace officer is exactly as it sounds.
When someone defrauds or injures another by falsely holding him/herself out as either a:
- Police officer
- A private individual that has lawful authority to perform an act affecting the rights or interests of another
- A public officer, civil or military
Physically wearing a false uniform is not the only way to be guilty of NRS 199.430 or impersonation of an officer.
Pretending to be an officer over the phone can be grounds to be charged with the crime.
On the other hand, people dress up as police for many reasons like costume parties or Halloween.
The idea with this crime is that you intend to defraud or injure someone by impersonating an officer. So just dressing up as one doesn’t make you guilty of the crime.
Defenses Against NRS 199.430 Impersonation of an Officer
Every criminal charge is different and the strategies to defend against those charges also vary based on the case.
A good defense team might use the following to defend against charges of impersonation of an officer:
- Lack of evidence: All criminal charges must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law. Proving a case requires evidence against the defendant. If your defense lawyer can show the prosecution’s evidence is not enough to convict you, the case may dropped or you could be acquitted for lack of evidence
- False accusations: People make false accusations all the time, most of the time for vengeful purposes. If your lawyer can prove that the accusations were false, or even a misunderstanding then the charges should be dismissed. The defendant then becomes the victim of false accusations and should not be held liable. The person making the false accusations should be held accountable.
- Police Misconduct: Police have been known to break the law themselves from time to time. Police may violate the constitution by performing illegal search and seizures or even false arrests. If your lawyer can prove any of these happened during the investigation into your impersonating an officer charge, your defense may file a motion to suppress evidence. This means that any evidence collected during an illegal search will not be permitted in the court. In some cases that is all the evidence they have and if it can’t be presented then there is no case against you and the charges can be dismissed.
There are other defense strategies that can be used but your best bet is to discuss your case with an experienced attorney who can help decide what the best strategy is for your case.
What Are the Penalties for Impersonating an Officer
Impersonating an officer in Nevada is considered a gross misdemeanor.
A gross misdemeanor is punishable by:
- Up to 364 days in jail and /or
- Up to a $2000 fine
If convicted, you may be subject to victim restitution to pay back anyone who sustained damages due to the false impersonation.
Other False Impersonation Charges
NRS 205.450 makes it a crime to falsely impersonate another person that could potentially cause that person to suffer harm or liability.
Usually, this is someone stealing someone else’s identity for financial gain.
This only applies when someone is trying to impersonate a real person and not a fictional character.
Impersonating another is a Category C felony and is punishable by up to 5 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines.
Generally, these cases also involve other charges like larceny, receiving stolen property and fraud as well as the impersonation charge.
Accused of Impersonating an Officer? Call the Defenders
Facing charges of impersonating an officer or impersonating another for financial gain, then call The Defenders. Our experienced lawyers will use all our tools to come up with the best defense strategy for your case. We represent clients charged with all types of crimes including white-collar crimes like financial crimes as well as many other criminal charges.
We have been representing clients from minor charges to serious felonies like murder.
All of our lawyers have been representing clients in Nevada for years.
Our team is educated in the law changes in Nevada as they take place.
Even if you were charged with a crime while visiting Vegas you’re better off hiring a local attorney.
Only a local lawyer who is licensed in Nevada can represent you if you have been charged with a criminal offense in Nevada including impersonating a police or peace officer.
The Defenders represent clients who have been charged with all sorts of crimes including domestic violence, white collar crimes, burglary, robbery or any other crime including murder.
Our attorneys will use all of our resources to get your case dismissed or reduced for the best outcome for our clients.
Call The Defenders today for a case review, we will go over what the best strategies are to have the best result for you and get you back to your life.