Criminal Impersonation and Identity Theft 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.
Impersonation is a crime in which the District Attorney must prove the intent of knowingly impersonating someone.
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 impersonates 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 work with a criminal defense lawyer experienced with the Colorado Springs courts 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.