October 11, 2013
- 169 False Personation
- 169k1 k. Nature of Offense in General.
Defendant convicted of falsely assuming or pretending to be a law enforcement officer failed to show any realistic danger that the Virginia impersonation statute would significantly compromise anyone’s First Amendment rights, and thus, there was no need for the court to entertain defendant’s claim that the statutory clause forbidding individuals from “falsely assum[ing] or pretend [ing]” to be a law enforcement officer was unconstitutionally overbroad; there was no realistic danger that children would be chilled out of costume parties or actors deterred from taking roles as policemen for fear of prosecution, and moreover, the behavior prohibited by the statute was closer to conduct than speech.
U.S. v. Chappell, 691 F.3d 388 (4th Cir. 2012)