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2012 Florida Statutes

SECTION 085
Unlawful use of police badges or other indicia of authority.
F.S. 843.085
843.085 Unlawful use of police badges or other indicia of authority.It is unlawful for any person:
(1) Unless appointed by the Governor pursuant to chapter 354, authorized by the appropriate agency, or displayed in a closed or mounted case as a collection or exhibit, to wear or display any authorized indicia of authority, including any badge, insignia, emblem, identification card, or uniform, or any colorable imitation thereof, of any federal, state, county, or municipal law enforcement agency, or other criminal justice agency as now or hereafter defined in s. 943.045, which could deceive a reasonable person into believing that such item is authorized by any of the agencies described above for use by the person displaying or wearing it, or which displays in any manner or combination the word or words “police,” “patrolman,” “agent,” “sheriff,” “deputy,” “trooper,” “highway patrol,” “commission officer,” “Wildlife Officer,” “Marine Patrol Officer,” “state attorney,” “public defender,” “marshal,” “constable,” or “bailiff,” which could deceive a reasonable person into believing that such item is authorized by any of the agencies described above for use by the person displaying or wearing it.
(2) To own or operate a motor vehicle marked or identified in any manner or combination by the word or words “police,” “patrolman,” “sheriff,” “deputy,” “trooper,” “highway patrol,” “commission officer,” “Wildlife Officer,” “Marine Patrol Officer,” “marshal,” “constable,” or “bailiff,” or by any lettering, marking, or insignia, or colorable imitation thereof, including, but not limited to, stars, badges, or shields, officially used to identify the vehicle as a federal, state, county, or municipal law enforcement vehicle or a vehicle used by a criminal justice agency as now or hereafter defined in s. 943.045, which could deceive a reasonable person into believing that such vehicle is authorized by any of the agencies described above for use by the person operating the motor vehicle, unless such vehicle is owned or operated by the appropriate agency and its use is authorized by such agency, or the local law enforcement agency authorizes the use of such vehicle or unless the person is appointed by the Governor pursuant to chapter 354.
(3) To sell, transfer, or give away the authorized badge, or colorable imitation thereof, including miniatures, of any criminal justice agency as now or hereafter defined in s. 943.045, or bearing in any manner or combination the word or words “police,” “patrolman,” “sheriff,” “deputy,” “trooper,” “highway patrol,” “commission officer,” “Wildlife Officer,” “Marine Patrol Officer,” “marshal,” “constable,” “agent,” “state attorney,” “public defender,” or “bailiff,” which could deceive a reasonable person into believing that such item is authorized by any of the agencies described above, except for agency purchases or upon the presentation and recordation of both a driver’s license and other identification showing any transferee to actually be a member of such criminal justice agency or unless the person is appointed by the Governor pursuant to chapter 354. A transferor of an item covered by this subsection is required to maintain for 2 years a written record of such transaction, including records showing compliance with this subsection, and if such transferor is a business, it shall make such records available during normal business hours for inspection by any law enforcement agency having jurisdiction in the area where the business is located.
(4) Nothing in this section shall prohibit a fraternal, benevolent, or labor organization or association, or their chapters or subsidiaries, from using the following words, in any manner or in any combination, if those words appear in the official name of the organization or association: “police,” “patrolman,” “sheriff,” “deputy,” “trooper,” “highway patrol,” “commission officer,” “Wildlife Officer,” “Marine Patrol Officer,” “marshal,” “constable,” or “bailiff.”
(5) Violation of any provision of this section is a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083. This section is cumulative to any law now in force in the state.
History.s. 1, ch. 91-163; s. 2, ch. 94-103; s. 29, ch. 2012-88.