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Illinois Criminal Code of 1961

Article 32: False Personation of Public Officers

As one might expect, it is illegal to pretend to be a police officer, lawyer, firefighter, as well as other important public officers. This portion of Article 32 of the Illinois Criminal Code addresses these offenses.

There are several positions mentioned in this section of Illinois criminal law: attorneys, judicial officials, police officers, firefighters, and emergency management workers. Depending on the nature of the offense, these charges carry different sentences, but all are felonies. A charge can be upgraded to aggravated status if a deadly weapon was involved.

Need an Illinois criminal defense attorney? If you've been charged with false personation in Illinois, call our Chicago criminal defense attorneys today at (312) 466-9466 to discuss your case.

The text below comes from Article 32 of the Illinois Criminal Code of 1961. This law may have changed -- please read the important legal disclaimer at the bottom of this page.

Illinois Criminal Code of 1961 - Article 32

Sec. 32-5. False personation of attorney, judicial, or governmental officials.
    (720 ILCS 5/32-5)

(a) A person who falsely represents himself or herself to be an attorney authorized to practice law for purposes of compensation or consideration commits a Class 4 felony. This subsection (a) does not apply to a person who unintentionally fails to pay attorney registration fees established by Supreme Court Rule.

(b) A person who falsely represents himself or herself to be a public officer or a public employee or an official or employee of the federal government commits a Class A misdemeanor. If the false representation is made in furtherance of the commission of a felony, the penalty for a violation of this subsection (b) is a Class 4 felony.

(c) A person who falsely represents himself or herself to be a public officer or a public employee commits a Class 4 felony if that false representation was for the purpose of effectuating identity theft as defined in Section 16G-15 of this Code. (Source: P.A. 94-985, eff. 1-1-07; 95-324, eff. 1-1-08; 95-625, eff. 6-1-08; 95-876, eff. 8-21-08.)

Sec. 32-5.1. False Personation of a Peace Officer.
    (720 ILCS 5/32-5.1)

A person who knowingly and falsely represents himself or herself to be a peace officer commits a Class 4 felony. (Source: P.A. 94-730, eff. 4-17-06.)

Sec. 32-5.1-1. False personation of a peace officer while carrying a deadly weapon.
    (720 ILCS 5/32-5.1-1)

A person who knowingly and falsely represents himself or herself to be a peace officer while carrying a deadly weapon commits a Class 3 felony. (Source: P.A. 94-730, eff. 4-17-06.)

Sec. 32-5.2. Aggravated False Personation of a Peace Officer.
    (720 ILCS 5/32-5.2)

A person who knowingly and falsely represents himself or herself to be a peace officer in attempting or committing a felony commits a Class 2 felony. A person who knowingly and falsely represents himself or herself to be a peace officer of any jurisdiction in attempting or committing a forcible felony commits a Class 1 felony. (Source: P.A. 94-730, eff. 4-17-06; 94-985, eff. 1-1-07; 95-331, eff. 8-21-07.)

Sec. 32-5.2-5. False law enforcement badges.
    (720 ILCS 5/32-5.2-5)

(a) A person who knowingly produces, sells, or distributes a law enforcement badge without the express written consent of the law enforcement agency represented on the badge, or in case of a reorganized or defunct law enforcement agency, its successor law enforcement agency, is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor. A second or subsequent violation of this Section is a Class 3 felony. (b) It is a defense to a prosecution under this Section that the law enforcement badge is used or is intended to be used exclusively: (1) as a memento, or in a collection or exhibit; (2) for decorative purposes; (3) for a dramatic presentation, such as a theatrical, film, or television production. (Source: P.A. 94-341, eff. 1-1-06.)

Sec. 32-5.3. False personation of a parent or legal guardian.
    (720 ILCS 5/32-5.3)

A person who falsely represents himself or herself to be the parent, legal guardian or other relation of a minor child to any public official, public employee, or elementary or secondary school employee or administrator commits a Class A misdemeanor. (Source: P.A. 88-677, eff. 12-15-94.)

Sec. 32-5.4. False personation of a fire fighter.
    (720 ILCS 5/32-5.4)

A person who knowingly and falsely represents himself to be a fire fighter of any jurisdiction commits a Class 4 felony. (Source: P.A. 94-323, eff. 1-1-06.)

Sec. 32-5.4-1. False personation of a fire fighter while carrying a deadly weapon.
    (720 ILCS 5/32-5.4-1)

A person who knowingly and falsely represents himself or herself to be a fire fighter while carrying a deadly weapon commits a Class 3 felony. (Source: P.A. 94-730, eff. 4-17-06.)

Sec. 32-5.5. Aggravated false personation of a fire fighter.
    (720 ILCS 5/32-5.5)

A person who knowingly and falsely represents himself or herself to be a fire fighter in attempting or committing a felony commits a Class 2 felony. (Source: P.A. 94-323, eff. 1-1-06; 94-730, eff. 4-17-06.)

Sec. 32-5.6. False personation of an emergency management worker.
    (720 ILCS 5/32-5.6)

A person who knowingly and falsely represents himself to be an emergency management worker of any jurisdiction in this State or of the American Red Cross commits a Class 4 felony. For purposes of this Section, "emergency management worker" shall have the same meaning as provided under Section 2-6.6 of this Code. (Source: P.A. 94-323, eff. 1-1-06.)

Sec. 32-5.7. Aggravated false personation of an emergency management worker.
    (720 ILCS 5/32-5.7)

A person who knowingly and falsely represents himself to be an emergency management worker of any jurisdiction in this State or of the American Red Cross in attempting or committing a felony commits a Class 3 felony. For purposes of this Section, "emergency management worker" shall have the same meaning as provided under Section 2-6.6 of this Code. (Source: P.A. 94-323, eff. 1-1-06.)

   Return to Illinois Criminal Code of 1961 Table of Contents

DISCLAIMER: These excerpts from the law are provided for reference purposes only. Visitors to our Chicago criminal defense lawyer website should be aware that Illinois criminal laws have been amended many times and that Illinois crime laws posted on this site may not be current. In addition, Illinois criminal case law defines precedents for legal determinations that are not defined in the original laws.

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