Impersonating peace officers, fire fighters, or other emergency personnel is a Class A misdemeanor offense in Wisconsin. If you’re convicted of this offense, the maximum penalty you face is 9 months in jail, $10,000.00 in fines, or both. This is the most serious non-felony level offense you can be charged with in the state. In a slightly different set of circumstances, this charge becomes a Class H felony, punishable by up to 6 years in prison, $10,000.00 in fines, or both. That crime requires that the impersonation occur as an act committed to aid or abet the commission of a separate crime.
This charge is not common throughout Wisconsin. And while unique, the criminal defense attorneys at Van Severen Law Office, S.C. stand prepared to defend you. We regularly defend individuals facing both serious misdemeanors and felonies throughout Wisconsin. And these charges include things that happen all the time, such as disorderly conduct, or battery, and charges that aren’t as common, such as this one.
Finally, it’s important to find the right criminal defense attorney for your situation. That’s one of the reasons we believe in offering free consultations to potential clients. You’ll have the opportunity to come in and discuss your case with one of our criminal defense lawyers. After that, together we’ll determine what the path moving forward looks like. But let’s start with a call and figure out how we can help. Contact us 24/7 at (414) 270-0202.
The Wisconsin Statutes provide the definitions of all crimes in Wisconsin. They’re numbered. You’ll find the definition of impersonating peace officers, fire fighters, or other emergency personnel in section 946.70(1) of the Wisconsin Statutes. That sections indicates:
(1)(a) Except as provided in sub. (2), whoever impersonates a peace officer with intent to mislead others into believing that the person is actually a peace officer is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.(b) Except as provided in sub. (2), whoever impersonates a fire fighter with intent to mislead others into believing that the person is actually a fire fighter is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.(c) Except as provided in sub. (2), whoever impersonates an emergency medical services practitioner, as defined in s. 256.01 (5), with intent to mislead others into believing that the person is actually an emergency medical services practitioner is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.
The “Except as provided in sub. (2),” repeatedly mentioned above refers to the felony-level version of this offense. Section 946.70(2) of the Wisconsin Statutes indicates:
(2) Any person violating sub. (1) with the intent to commit or aid or abet the commission of a crime other than a crime under this section is guilty of a Class H felony. Any person violating sub. (1) with the intent to commit or aid or abet the commission of a crime other than a crime under this section is guilty of a Class H felony.
Jury instructions are important guides used in the criminal justice system. They’re used during plea hearings, trials, and other proceedings to help various actors (jurors, prosecutors, defense attorneys, judges, and civilians) to understand crimes. Jury instructions break statutes down into separate parts, called elements, that the government must prove beyond a reasonable doubt. If the prosecutor cannot prove each element of a criminal charge, he cannot sustain a conviction against the defendant.
Wisconsin Criminal Jury Instruction 1830 provides us the elements of impersonating a peace officer, fire fighter, or other emergency personnel:
The felony-level version of the crime has third element, which asks the jury to determine whether the impersonation was done in furtherance of another crime. Courts will simply add that question when appropriate.
Hiring the right criminal defense attorney is important. Not everyone who went to law school or holds a law degree has the experience necessary to provide a proper defense. The criminal defense attorneys at Van Severen Law Office, S.C. do. In fact, defending individuals in your position is all we do. We don’t work on civil cases. We don’t work with prosecutors. Our entire focus is on criminal defendants and helping them move forward in life.
Contact us at (414) 270-0202 to schedule a free consultation. We’re available 24/7/365.