Featured News 2013 Florida Man Arrested for Impersonating Police Officer—to Get Donut Discounts

Florida Man Arrested for Impersonating Police Officer—to Get Donut Discounts

Last week a man was arrested at a Dunkin' Donuts for using his father's old police badge and his own gun to persuade clerks that he was a police officer. He had been posing as law enforcement in order to get discounts on coffee and donuts. He had even come in with his kids on the weekend to get those extra donuts discounted. He has been arrested on the charge of impersonating a police officer. As strange a story as this may be, this criminal charge is no laughing matter. Read on to learn more about this story and this offense.

The man was arrested on Tuesday, November 12. The week before, he had arrived at the Tampa donut shop, asking for a discount. When the clerk would not oblige, the man brought out a badge and showed off his holstered gun, claiming to be a cop. This got him a ten percent discount. He tried the same thing again the next day, according to workers at the store, but this time after he left, the clerk asked a sheriff if police officers ever asked for discounts. The sheriff said no. The next time the suspect came around, the police were ready. He was arrested with what was once his dad's badge in his wallet, and he had a .38-caliber revolver on his person (the gun is registered in his name). Allegedly, what started as a stunt to get as much as twenty percent discounts turned into charges of impersonating a law enforcement officer and improper exhibition of a firearm. He was released on $5,150 bond.

Impersonating a police officer is a very, very serious charge. For one thing, there are federal laws against this. If someone is convicted of this false personation offense, they could face three years in federal prison as well as hefty fines. The charge could be aggravate if someone posing as a police officer tries to perform any law enforcement duties, such as arresting or even detaining someone while pretending to have the authority of a police officer (or any other official representing the U.S. government).

Even if those charges do not become that serious, state level charges are still quite severe enough. Of course, every state will approach and penalize this offense a little differently, but on average, someone charged with this offense could expect to look at as much as five years in state prison, if not longer. They could be fined $1,000 or more. There might also be a probation sentence, or perhaps probation instead of a prison sentence. And regardless of the exact penalties, a conviction will always mean having a black mark on one's record—for life. This is something that can appear every single time you apply for a job or a place to live.

If you face an aggravated charge, such as impersonating a police officer in order to commit a crime (such as gaining access to a building to commit robbery), then you really need a sterling criminal defense attorney who can protect your name and reputation. With so much at stake, and with so many federal and state laws at play, you need a legal expert who can handle such complex charges, one who is familiar with the local laws and who further has experiencing creating a successful defense. When you have the right legal advocate on your side, your charges could be reduced, or even dismissed altogether. Find out what steps you need to take to safeguard your future when you contact a criminal defense lawyer today!

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