Impersonating a Public Servant | Dallas Criminal Defense

Impersonating a Public Servant in Dallas and surrounding areas

Impersonation might be the sincerest form of flattery, but impersonating a public servant is no joke in Texas. Pretending to be a member of law enforcement, firefighter, judge, or another type of government employee is against the law.

What is Impersonating a Public Servant in Dallas?

Texas Penal Code Section 37.11 defines the crime of impersonating a public servant. Under this law, it’s a crime for an individual to impersonate a public servant with the intent to induce another person to submit to the person’s pretended official authority or to rely on the person’s false representation. Essentially, the law requires an intention of deceit and action that indicates an individual is a public servant without being lawfully appointed or elected to the post.

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Identifying a Public Servant

In Texas, a public servant includes a government officer, employee or agent, a juror or grand juror, an arbitrator, attorney, or notary public, a political candidate or an individual performing government-contracted duties.

What is the penalty for impersonating a public servant in Dallas?

It’s a third-degree felony to impersonate a public servant in Texas. If convicted, it’s punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

Third degree felony in Texas
Third degree punishment range in Texas

If you’re facing this charge, you need a top Dallas criminal defense attorney fighting for your freedom and protecting your legal rights.
Our team at Varghese Summersett will work to achieve three main objectives:

  • Keep you out of jail
  • Avoid a felony conviction
  • Resolve your case in a way that allows for an expunction

Who does Texas consider a public servant?

Government OfficialsThe Texas Penal Code describes a public servant as any person who is elected, selected, appointed, employed, or designated as any of the following (even if they have yet to qualify for office or assumed their duties):

  • Police officers, government employees, and agents
  • Jurors or grand jurors
  • An arbitrator, referee, or person authorized by law or written agreement to hear or determine a cause or controversy
  • Attorney or notary public performing a government function
  • Candidate for public office
  • A person performing a governmental function under a claim of right, although not legally qualified to do so.

A top Dallas criminal defense attorney will investigate if and where the state’s case is weak and advise on the best way to defend against an impersonating a public servant charge.

Recent examples of people accused of impersonating a public servant in Texas

  • In January 2023, a 59-year-old Dallas man was arrested for impersonating a public servant after flashing a badge and attempting to have drivers pull over.
  • Less than a week later, a 22-year-old Dallas man was arrested for impersonating a public servant after attempting to pull drivers over using red, white, and blue lights.
  • In February 2023, a 30-year-old Houston man was arrested for impersonating a police officer after flashing a badge and gun at a leasing office.
  • In January 2022, an 18-year-old Dallas man was arrested after impersonating a police officer when he tried to pull over an unmarked Dallas Police car.
  • In June 2022, a GOP State House of Representatives candidate in Collin County was indicted on charges of impersonating a public servant after impersonating a code enforcement officer to get rid of his opponent’s campaign signs during a primary runoff in February.Impersonating a public servant in Dallas

Is Impersonating a Private Investigator also illegal in Texas?

Yes, in 2021, Texas lawmakers made impersonating a private investigator against the law.

The offense is very similar to impersonating a public servant. It’s illegal to impersonate a private investigator with the intent to induce another to submit to their pretended official authority or rely on the person’s pretend official acts, or knowingly purport to exercise any function that requires a private investigator’s license.

The Texas Department of Public Safety issues private investigator licenses. State officials take licensing very seriously because private investigators often deal with sensitive information.

The offense is a Class A misdemeanor, and a conviction is punishable by a year in jail and a maximum $4,000 fine.

If you face such charges, hiring an effective Dallas criminal defense attorney is the best move you can make.

Arrested for impersonating a public servant in Dallas? Contact us.

Impersonating a public servant in Dallas is a serious offense and should be handled as such. If you or a loved one is facing an impersonation charge, contact a top Dallas criminal defense attorney.

The team at Varghese Summersett provides unmatched service and has an unmatched record in North Texas defending our clients. During a complimentary consultation, we’ll review your case, offer potential defense strategies, and give you an honest evaluation of how best to proceed.

To speak with one of our top defense attorneys, call us at 214-903-4000.

Tough cases call for the toughest lawyers.

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