On Sunday, December 29, a man was arrested for impersonating a police officer when he allegedly flashed emergency lights to pull over a Tampa police officer. In their press release, Tampa police officials said that the suspect had red and blue emergency lights placed on his sports utility vehicle, lights that he turned on so he could stop an officer to tell her about a reckless driver. The suspect is said to have claimed to be an officer from Homeland Security, even showing off a gun and a badge.
The Tampa police officer continued to talk with the suspect, growing increasingly suspicious, until she ascertained that the SUV was in fact not registered to a federal agency. In the end, the suspect confessed that he was not really an officer, nor did he have a permit for a carrying a concealed weapon. The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office has said that the suspect faces charges of impersonating an officer, carrying a concealed firearm, and unlawful use of a blue light. This suspect had been arrested on similar charges before, as a sheriff's detective arrested him for allegedly impersonating an officer to pull a woman over this past September.
Both the charges of impersonating an officer and of carrying a concealed firearm are each a third degree felony. A conviction of either of these counts could lead to a sentence of up to 5 years in prison, plus any attendant fines. Beyond that however, a conviction would mean living life as a convicted felon, a repercussion that will last longer than any sentence of incarceration could. This criminal record could be enough to get job, housing, loan applications, and more denied.
When you face criminal charges, your freedom and your reputation, the rest of your life are at stake. You need to find the best Tampa criminal defense lawyer you can. Find the rigorous defense you deserve at Thomas & Paulk, P.A. Learn how an experienced and dedicated Tampa criminal defense lawyer can fight for you when you contact our firm today!