New York Penal Law § 190.26: Criminal Impersonation in the First Degree
New York Penal Law § 190.26 defines the crime of criminal impersonation in the first degree. This is a serious offense that involves knowingly and intentionally impersonating a police officer or another public servant, and carrying out a serious criminal act. Under this section of the law, a person can be charged with criminal impersonation in the first degree if they:
- Impersonate a police officer or other public servant with the intent to commit or aid in the commission of a felony or serious misdemeanor offense.
- Use an authorized uniform, badge, identification card, or other official insignia or emblem of a public servant to falsely represent themselves as such a person, with the intent to commit or aid in the commission of a felony or serious misdemeanor offense.
The statute applies to all types of public servants, including police officers, firefighters, judges, and other government officials. It also covers the use of any type of uniform or equipment that is typically associated with a particular public service role.
It is important to note that criminal impersonation in the first degree is a serious offense that can result in significant penalties. Therefore, anyone who has been charged with this crime should seek the advice of an experienced New York criminal lawyer to protect their rights and mount a strong defense.Example
People v. Pagan, 72 A.D.3d 568 (N.Y. App. Div. 2010). In People v. Pagan, the defendant, Angel Pagan, was convicted of criminal impersonation in the first degree for impersonating a police officer and attempting to rob a victim. The incident occurred in a parking lot in the Bronx, where Pagan and two accomplices approached the victim and claimed to be police officers. Pagan then displayed a badge and a gun, and demanded that the victim turn over his money. The victim became suspicious and asked for identification, but Pagan and his accomplices fled the scene when they realized the victim was not convinced of their authenticity.
Pagan was subsequently arrested and charged with criminal impersonation in the first degree, robbery in the second degree, and criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree. At trial, the victim testified to the events that occurred in the parking lot, and identified Pagan as one of the perpetrators. The prosecution also introduced evidence of Pagan's possession of a gun and a police-style badge at the time of his arrest. Ultimately, Pagan was convicted.Related Offenses
- Issuing a bad check: New York Penal Law section 190.10
- False advertising: New York Penal Law section 190.20
- Criminal impersonation in the second degree: New York Penal Law section 190.25
- Criminal sale of a police uniform: New York Penal Law section 190.27
Criminal impersonation in the first degree is classified as a Class E felony. If convicted, a person can face a maximum sentence of up to four years in prison, probation, and/or a fine of up to $5,000.New York Penal Law § 190.26: Criminal Impersonation in the First Degree
A person is guilty of criminal impersonation in the first degree when he:
- Pretends to be a police officer or a federal law enforcement officer as enumerated in section 2.15 of the criminal procedure law, or wears or displays without authority, any uniform, badge or other insignia or facsimile thereof, by which such police officer or federal law enforcement officer is lawfully distinguished or expresses by his or her words or actions that he or she is acting with the approval or authority of any police department or acting as a federal law enforcement officer with the approval of any agency that employs federal law enforcement officers as enumerated in section 2.15 of the criminal procedure law; and
- So acts with intent to induce another to submit to such pretended official authority or otherwise to act in reliance upon said pretense and in the course of such pretense commits or attempts to commit a felony; or
- Pretending to be a duly licensed physician or other person authorized to issue a prescription for any drug or any instrument or device used in the taking or administering of drugs for which a prescription is required by law, communicates to a pharmacist an oral prescription which is required to be reduced to writing pursuant to section thirty-three hundred thirty-two of the public health law.
Criminal impersonation in the first degree is a class E felony.Contact Stephen Bilkis & Associates
It is essential to contact an experienced New York criminal lawyer if you are accused of criminal impersonation in the first degree because it is a serious criminal offense that carries potentially severe penalties. They will have the knowledge and expertise to review the evidence against you, advise you of your legal options, and develop a defense strategy tailored to your case. An experienced New York criminal lawyer can also protect your rights throughout the legal process, ensuring that you are not subjected to any unfair or unconstitutional treatment. Contact Stephen Bilkis & Associates at 800.696.9529 to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We represent clients in the following locations: Nassau County, Queens, Bronx, Brooklyn, Long Island, Manhattan, Staten Island, Suffolk County, and Westchester County.