At some point or another, we’ve all thought about what we would do if we had the authority of a police officer. The new comedy Let’s Be Cops takes that fleeting quandary and explores what would happen if someone took advantage of a police officer’s power without accepting any of the responsibility. While the film is a comedy, it sure wouldn’t be funny to get caught impersonating an officer and that’s only one of the crimes the duo commits in the film. Defense attorney Peter M. Liss explains why you should never exclaim “Let’s Be Cops,” unless you actually intend to go through the official SDPD hiring process.
The most obvious crime the duo is guilty of is impersonating a police officer. Falsely representing yourself as a public officer and intimidating any person (which the characters do even in the trailer), is a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in prison. Additionally, false impersonation is a felony offense, punishable by up to three years imprisonment and given the situation, the duo could face sentencing enhancements that could result in their having additional time added to their sentence. They would also be charged with the separate crime of impersonating a police vehicle, which is only an infraction. On top of all this, the two could be charged with both fraud and use of false identification -which could add five or more years to the sentence. Keep in mind that all of these charges are directly related to their impersonation of police officers, which is why any criminal lawyer will tell you this is a terrible idea.
The most serious offense the two men could face would actually be kidnapping, as they abduct a man involved with the mafia in order to get information necessary to bring down the gang. Because the two used their fraudulent police identification to kidnap the criminal, they could face aggravated kidnapping charges, which is punishable by between five years to life in prison. With all the crimes combined, the film’s two heroes could face some pretty substantial sentences and it would take some serious legal wrangling on the part of their criminal defense lawyer just to get them a minimal sentence -let alone successfully fight all of charges stacked against them.
Of course, being as how this is a film filled with comedy and Hollywood magic, it’s unlikely that the heroes will be arrested and charged with these crimes. The person who is kidnapped works for the mob, so he would likely never report the crime and undoubtedly, their work to help bring down a major criminal would be praised rather than chastised.
In real life though, even if you help do something noble by committing a crime, you’ll still usually be charged with a crime. If you are charged with a criminal offense of any type though, defense attorney Peter M. Liss can help you fight the charges. Please call (760) 643-4050 or (858) 486-3024 to schedule a free initial consultation.