What are Criminal Impersonation Charges in Colorado?

by | Sep 22, 2014 | Impersonation Defense

A common criminal charge filed by law enforcement is Criminal Impersonation.

According to the state of Colorado, criminal impersonation is defined as follows, “Any person who assumes a false or fictitious identity or capacity and in such identity or capacity does an act with intent to unlawfully gain a benefit for himself or herself or another or to injure or defraud another commits a class 6 felony.

Similarly to many crimes, Impersonation is a crime in which the District Attorney must prove the intent of knowingly. A person convicted of this offense must have committed it knowingly. It is important to your defense that you hire a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible after the incident in question.

CRS 18-5-113 – Criminal Impersonation.

(1) A person commits criminal impersonation if he or she knowingly:

  • Assumes a false or fictitious identity of legal capacity, and in such identity or capacity he or she;
  • Marries, or pretends to marry, or to sustain the marriage relation toward another without the connivance of the latter;
  • Becomes bail or surety for a party in an action or proceeding, civil or criminal, before a court or officer authorized to take the bail or surety, or
  • Confesses a judgment, or subscribes, verifies, publishes, acknowledges, or proves a written instrument which by law may be recorded, with the intent that the same may be delivered as true; or

Assumes a false or fictitious identity or capacity, legal or other, and in such identity or capacity he or she;

  • Performs an act that, if done by the person falsely impersonated, might subject such person to an action or special proceeding, civil or criminal, or to liability, charge, forfeiture, or penalty; or
  • Performs any other act with intent to unlawfully gain a benefit for himself, herself, or another or to injure or defraud another.

(2) Criminal impersonation is a class 6 felony.

(3) For the purposes of subsection (1) of this section, using false or fictitious personal identifying information, as defined in section 18-5-901 (13), shall constitute the assumption of a false or fictitious identity or capacity.

As a reading of the statute will make clear, there are many different ways to commit this crime. However, practically speaking, Criminal Impersonation usually arises when a person is contacted by law enforcement. The police will pull someone over for an unrelated reason, such as speeding, and contact the individual. That individual gives the police a false name and birthdate, pretending to be someone they aren’t to avoid the consequences of the contact or a previous arrest warrant. The deception works for a short period, but is usually discovered. The key to this charge is that the person impersonate another “with intent to unlawfully gain a benefit for himself”.

The difficult part for the prosecution can be proving that the impersonator had the intent to unlawfully gain a benefit. If you are charged with impersonation it is essential to contact a criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. An experienced lawyer will put you in the best position possible to litigate your case.

Criminal Impersonation is a class 6 felony and carries with it twelve to eighteen months in prison and a potential fine up to $100,000. It is important to contact a Colorado Springs criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to fight for your rights as the accused.

Call James Newby Law today. These are serious charges and you need a serious defense

James Newby

James Newby

James Newby is a criminal defense attorney in Colorado Springs and the managing attorney of the criminal justice law firm James Newby Law. James got into law because of a deep-rooted passion for helping good people that may have made a poor choice that could have lasting consequences.