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Playing Dress-up is Fun! But Impersonating a Police Officer is Illegal!

Two people in masks and costumes at a carnival
Dressing up is really fun, but be careful who you dress up as, or who you try to pass yourself off as in Michigan!

Kids and adults alike love dressing up. It’s one of the reasons Halloween is such a popular holiday. It’s also why comic-cons draw countless thousands of people from all over the country, dressed to the nines in an astounding array of costumes. (It’s also probably why so many ‘adult’ shops carry all sorts of weird and wonderful dress-up options. But that’s another subject for another day…) Anyway, the fact is that dressing up can be tons of fun, but if you’re not careful and clear about your intentions, it can also get you into trouble here in Michigan. Like when you dress up as a cop and try to pass yourself off as a police officer.

Dressing up in crappy costumes isn’t likely to fool anyone, but still…

You can buy a police officer’s costume at any Halloween store, or even online, for around $30. Chances are though, it’s not going to look like a convincing cop uniform. So if all you’re planning to do is have fun dressing up and attending a party looking generally “officerish”, then it’ll more than do the trick. Anyone trying to pass themselves off as a real cop would need a much higher quality uniform if they were going to fool anyone. But we’re certainly not suggesting you get one! Because trying to pass yourself off as a real cop is super, duper illegal! Regardless of your reasons, even if you’re trying to help the local cops or solve a crime, you absolutely ARE NOT allowed to impersonate a police officer. (In other words – stick to the cheap costumes and Halloween parties to get your cop-kicks!) 

It’s not only illegal, it’s also dangerous!

In addition to being a crime, pretending to be a cop is downright dangerous! Without the extensive training that police officers in Michigan are required to have, an imposter has no way to understand how to react to a dangerous situation. Fake cops endanger themselves and any innocent bystanders in the area by misleading people into believing that they’re trained and equipped to respond to emergencies when in fact they’re not. It’s one of the many reasons why it’s against the law to impersonate an officer. Other reasons include the fact that police officers have the authority to make decisions that civilians don’t (and shouldn’t) have. Also because cops are governed by a code of conduct, and they’re required to answer for their decisions, whereas a civilian posing as a cop isn’t accountable to a specific department for their actions, which is very dangerous.

Impersonating a police officer in Michigan is a really bad idea!

Pretending to be a cop may sound like fun and games, but impersonating a police officer is illegal in Michigan. In fact, Impersonating a Peace Officer to Commit a Crime is a felony under Michigan law and is punishable by up to four years in prison! Also, according to federal law, a person is guilty of a third-degree felony if they “knowingly purport to exercise any function of a public servant or of a public office, including that of a judge and court…” So there you have it – impersonating a cop for any reason is against both state and federal law, and will land you in serious trouble! 

If your costume plans get you into trouble, call us right now

So as you can imagine, we highly recommend you pick a different costume for your dressing up escapades in the future! However, if you choose to dress up as a cop and there’s a misunderstanding about your intentions, call The Kronzek Firm now! Our well trusted criminal defense attorneys have decades of experience successfully defending the people of Michigan against all kinds of criminal charges, including impersonation charges. We’re available 24/7 at 866 766 5245 (866 7No Jail). So give us a call and get started on building a strong defense.

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