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Criminal Jury Instructions

Criminal Jury Instructions Home

10.7-3  Impersonation of a Police Officer -- § 53a-130a

Revised to December 1, 2007

The defendant is charged [in count __] with impersonation of a police officer.  The statute defining this offense reads in pertinent part as follows: 

a person is guilty of impersonation of a police officer when (he/she) pretends to be a sworn member of an organized local police department or the division of state police within the department of public safety, or wears or displays without authority any uniform, badge or shield by which such police officer is lawfully distinguished, with intent to induce another person to submit to such pretended official authority or otherwise to act in reliance upon that pretense.

For you to find the defendant guilty of this charge, the state must prove the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

Element 1 - Impersonation
The first element is that the defendant <insert as appropriate:>

  • by (his/her) words or conduct, pretended to be a sworn member of an organized local police department or the division of state police within the department of public safety.

  • wore or displayed without authority a uniform, badge or shield by which a police officer is lawfully distinguished.

To "pretend" means to make-believe, to feign, or to conduct a sham.1

Element 2 - Intent
The second element is that by such action, (he/she) intended to induce another to submit to such pretended official authority or otherwise to act in reliance upon such pretended authority.  A person acts "intentionally" with respect to a result when (his/her) conscious objective is to cause such result.  <See Intent: Specific, Instruction 2.3-1.>

Conclusion

In summary, the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant 1) (pretended to be a <insert type of officer> / wore or displayed <insert allegations>), and 2) intended to induce another to submit to such pretended official authority or otherwise to act in reliance upon such pretended authority.

If you unanimously find that the state has proved beyond a reasonable doubt each of the elements of the crime of impersonation of a police officer, then you shall find the defendant guilty.  On the other hand, if you unanimously find that the state has failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt any of the elements, you shall then find the defendant not guilty.
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1 State v. Wall, 40 Conn. App. 643, 670-71, cert. denied, 237 Conn. 924 (1996).

Commentary

The fact that the uniform, badge or shield was not authentic is irrelevant.  "The goal of the statute is to prohibit criminal impersonation.  Among other things, the statute prohibits an individual from using a badge with the intent of inducing another to submit to authority that he or she does not possess.  Because the state proved beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant used a badge that appeared to lawfully distinguish him and that he used the badge in the manner proscribed by the statute, we are unable to see how the issue of the badge's lineage or authenticity bears on the goals that the legislature sought to achieve."  State v. Guadalupe, 66 Conn. App. 819, 828 (2001), cert. denied, 259 Conn. 902 (2002).
 


 

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