CA Vehicle Code 27 VC

VC 27 – Impersonating a CHP Officer

VC 23109(a)~(c)- Impersonating a CHP Officer

Impersonating a CHP Officer – Table of Contents

Vehicle Code 27 VC: Impersonating a CHP Officer

What is the definition of impersonating a CHP officer under VC 27?

Any person without authority impersonates a member of the California Highway Patrol (CHP) with the intent to deceive or defraud another on a public road or path regulated by the CHP.

What is the definition of impersonation under VC 27?

Impersonation can encompass the assumption of the duties, obligations, roles, or responsibilities of a person of interest to gain the benefits and as well, if desired, the obligations vested, to gain that benefit.

The acquisition of accessories to maintain this objective also meet the definition of impersonation, especially in reference to a CHP officer. This means utilizing official equipment and accessories that mimic the CHP brand for the desired benefit of assuming the role of a CHP officer for a desired objective.

What is the scope of authorization required to avoid a violation of Vehicle Code 27 VC?

Authorization can be in the form of necessity or a legal contract. If a CHP department or CHP official provides a member of the public access to official CHP equipment, gear, and accessories to further an objective of the CHP then there is no impersonation.

The necessity indicates a need to break the law to do something for the sake of a public benefit or the sake to protect from death or serious harm under circumstances that are not ordinary. An example would be for to deputize a member of the public, there is an alternative legal means because that person needs to be trained as a CHP official.

An example of a legal contract by the CHP would be the entertainment business, where a production company would lease out the rights under contract for official CHP uniforms, for which the purpose of use would be under the supervision of CHP officials on the movie set.

Is Vehicle Code 27 VC a specific intent crime?

Yes. It is the specific intent to defraud another for a benefit. The intent specified is mimicking a CHP official by demonstrating to that person that you have the authority to engage with them for a desired result, that a person could not otherwise achieve if they were not a CHP official.

Penalties – VC 27

What are the penalties associated with a violation of Vehicle Code 27 VC?

A violation of Vehicle Code 27 VC is a misdemeanor. The penalties include confinement in jail not exceeding 1 year, with fines upwards of $1000 dollars.

Examples – VC 27

What are examples of violations of Vehicle Code 27 VC?

  1. Sarah wanted to teach her cyber bully at high school a lesson. She asks her boyfriend’s father to allow her boyfriend’s older brother to use his CHP uniform, car, and badge to stage an arrest against the bully. The next day the arrest is staged in the school parking lot in front of the student body. One of the teachers suspected that something did not seem because the officer inaccurately stated the bully’s Miranda rights. The teacher called LAPD, who detained the imposture, to verify his credentials. He, when questioned, could not through verbal demonstration of cues taught at the Academy verify his rank. The officers not only arrested the CHP’s Officer’s son, but also arrested the father at his home without a warrant.

Defending – VC 27

What are the defenses against a violation of Vehicle Code 27 VC?

  1. Mistake in fact/ Deputization – Authorization was given to impersonate by a CHP official to achieve a desired result as a necessary initiative for the CHP department.
  2. Freedom to Contract – The impersonation came way of legal contract for a legitimate business for a lawful purpose.
  3. Fictitious Character – The impersonation was done for Charitable purpose.

We’re Here to Help

If you are charged with impersonating a CHP officer under Vehicle Code 27 VC, call The Esfandi Law Group. Contact Los Angeles criminal defense attorney Seppi Esfandi, principal attorney of The Esfandi Law Group.

Contact Los Angeles criminal defense attorney Seppi Esfandi.

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Lara S.
June 4, 2018
Seppi had my case reduced to just an infraction, and thanks to him I was able to keep my job. Jorge was extremely helpful too, the reason I went with this law firm. Overall pleased.

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