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2016 Florida Statutes

SECTION 085
Unlawful use of badges or other indicia of authority.
F.S. 843.085
843.085 Unlawful use of badges or other indicia of authority.
(1) It is unlawful for any person, 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 defined in s. 943.045, with the intent to mislead or cause another person to believe that he or she is a member of that agency or is authorized to display or wear such item, or to wear or display any item that 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,” “bailiff,” or “fire department,” with the intent to mislead or cause another person to believe that he or she is a member of that agency or is authorized to wear or display such item.
(2) It is unlawful for a person 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,” “bailiff,” or “fire department,” 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 defined in s. 943.045, or a vehicle used by a fire department with the intent to mislead or cause another person to believe that such vehicle is an official vehicle of that agency and is authorized to be used by that agency, 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 or fire department authorizes the use of such vehicle, or the person is appointed by the Governor pursuant to chapter 354.
(3) It is unlawful for a person to sell, transfer, or give away the authorized badge, or colorable imitation thereof, including miniatures, of any criminal justice agency as 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,” “bailiff,” or “fire department,” with the intent to mislead or cause another person to believe that he or she is a member of that agency or is authorized to wear or display such item, except for agency purchases or upon the presentation and recordation of both a driver 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) This section does not 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,” “bailiff,” or “fire department.”
(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; s. 2, ch. 2015-29.