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California Penal Code Section 538d

Legal Research Home > California Laws > Penal Code > California Penal Code Section 538d

538d.  (a) Any person other than one who by law is given the
authority of a peace officer, who willfully wears, exhibits, or uses
the authorized uniform, insignia, emblem, device, label, certificate,
card, or writing, of a peace officer, with the intent of
fraudulently impersonating a peace officer, or of fraudulently
inducing the belief that he or she is a peace officer, is guilty of a
misdemeanor.
   (b) (1) Any person, other than the one who by law is given the
authority of a peace officer, who willfully wears, exhibits, or uses
the badge of a peace officer with the intent of fraudulently
impersonating a peace officer, or of fraudulently inducing the belief
that he or she is a peace officer, is guilty of a misdemeanor
punishable by imprisonment in a county jail not to exceed one year,
by a fine not to exceed two thousand dollars ($2,000), or by both
that imprisonment and fine.
   (2) Any person who willfully wears or uses any badge that falsely
purports to be authorized for the use of one who by law is given the
authority of a peace officer, or which so resembles the authorized
badge of a peace officer as would deceive any ordinary reasonable
person into believing that it is authorized for the use of one who by
law is given the authority of a peace officer, for the purpose of
fraudulently impersonating a peace officer, or of fraudulently
inducing the belief that he or she is a peace officer, is guilty of a
misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment in a county jail not to
exceed one year, by a fine not to exceed two thousand dollars
($2,000), or by both that imprisonment and fine.
   (c) Except as provided in subdivision (d), any person who
willfully wears, exhibits, or uses, or who willfully makes, sells,
loans, gives, or transfers to another, any badge, insignia, emblem,
device, or any label, certificate, card, or writing, which falsely
purports to be authorized for the use of one who by law is given the
authority of a peace officer, or which so resembles the authorized
badge, insignia, emblem, device, label, certificate, card, or writing
of a peace officer as would deceive an ordinary reasonable person
into believing that it is authorized for the use of one who by law is
given the authority of a peace officer, is guilty of a misdemeanor,
except that any person who makes or sells any badge under the
circumstances described in this subdivision is subject to a fine not
to exceed fifteen thousand dollars ($15,000).
   (d) (1) The head of an agency that employs peace officers, as
defined in Sections 830.1 and 830.2, is authorized to issue
identification in the form of a badge, insignia, emblem, device,
label, certificate, card, or writing that clearly states that the
person has honorably retired following service as a peace officer
from that agency. The identification authorized pursuant to this
subdivision is separate and distinct from the identification
authorized by Article 2 (commencing with Section 25450) of Chapter 2
of Division 5 of Title 4 of Part 6.
   (2) If the head of an agency issues a badge to an honorably
retired peace officer that is not affixed to a plaque or other
memento commemorating the retiree's service for the agency, the words
"Honorably Retired" shall be clearly visible above, underneath, or
on the badge itself.
   (3) The head of an agency that employs peace officers as defined
in Sections 830.1 and 830.2 is authorized to revoke identification
granted pursuant to this subdivision in the event of misuse or abuse.
   (4) For the purposes of this subdivision, the term "honorably
retired" does not include an officer who has agreed to a service
retirement in lieu of termination.
   (e) (1) Vendors of law enforcement uniforms shall verify that a
person purchasing a uniform identifying a law enforcement agency is
an employee of the agency identified on the uniform. Presentation and
examination of a valid identification card with a picture of the
person purchasing the uniform and identification, on the letterhead
of the law enforcement agency, of the person buying the uniform as an
employee of the agency identified on the uniform shall be sufficient
verification.
   (2) Any uniform vendor who sells a uniform identifying a law
enforcement agency, without verifying that the purchaser is an
employee of the agency, is guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by a
fine of not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000).
   (3) This subdivision shall not apply if the uniform is to be used
solely as a prop for a motion picture, television, video production,
or a theatrical event, and prior written permission has been obtained
from the identified law enforcement agency.

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Last modified: March 17, 2014