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Colorado Criminal Impersonation

Colorado Springs Criminal Impersonation Lawyer

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Colorado Statute C.R.S. 18-5-113, or criminal impersonation, is defined as impersonating someone for improper purposes, such as profit, attempting to get out of criminal charges, or injury to the target of the impersonation. It is a Class 6 felony offense punishable by up to 18 months imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $100,000.

Penalties for Criminal Impersonation in Colorado

Charge Classification Penalty
Criminal Impersonation Class 6 felony
  • One year to 18 months imprisonment (plus 1 year of mandatory parole)
  • $1,000 to $100,000 in fines
Criminal Impersonation Class 1 misdemeanor
  • Up to 364 days jail time, and/or
  • Up to $1,000 in fines
Criminal Impersonation Class 2 misdemeanor
  • Up to 120 days jail time, and/or
  • Up to $750 in fines
(Colo. Rev. Stat. C.R.S. 18-5-113)

Possible Defenses for Criminal Impersonation in Colorado

The prosecution has to prove the charges against you beyond a reasonable doubt to get a conviction. A Colorado criminal defense attorney can build a unique defense on your behalf to get your charges dismissed or reduced.

Here are two defenses an attorney may raise.

There Was No Impersonation

Simply put, an imitation must take place to be found guilty of criminal impersonation. There must be a deliberate intention to give a fictitious impersonation of someone other than yourself, in other words the DA must prove you lied about your identity Depending on the facts of your case, this could be difficult to fight without a Colorado criminal defense attorney.

The False Representation Was Not illegal

Perhaps what you did was harmless. If the impersonation took place but there was no fraud intended, no crime was committed. The accused must have done so intending to benefit themselves in some way.

Colorado Revised Statutes, CRS 18-5-113:

(1) A person commits criminal impersonation if he or she knowingly:

(a) Assumes a false or fictitious identity or legal capacity, and in such identity or capacity he or she:

(I) Marries, or pretends to marry, or to sustain the marriage relation toward another without the connivance of the latter;

(II) Becomes bail or surety for a party in an action or proceeding, civil or criminal, before a court or officer authorized to take the bail or surety; or

(III) Confesses a judgment, or subscribes, verifies, publishes, acknowledges, or proves a written instrument which by law may be recorded, with the intent that the same may be delivered as true; or

(b) Assumes a false or fictitious identity or capacity, legal or other, and in such identity or capacity he or she:

(I) Performs an act that, if done by the person falsely impersonated, subjects such person to an action or special proceeding, civil or criminal, or to liability, charge, forfeiture, or penalty;

(II) Performs an act that, if done by the person falsely impersonated, might subject the person to an action or special proceeding, civil or criminal, or to liability, charge, forfeiture, or penalty; or

(III) Performs any other act with intent to unlawfully gain a benefit for himself, herself, or another or to injure or defraud another.

(2) (a) Criminal impersonation in violation of subsection (1)(a) or (1)(b)(I) of this section is a class 6 felony.

(b) Criminal impersonation in violation of subsection (1)(b)(II) of this section is a class 1 misdemeanor.

(c) Criminal impersonation in violation of subsection (1)(b)(III) of this section is a class 2 misdemeanor.

(3) For the purposes of subsection (1) of this section, using false or fictitious personal identifying information, as defined in section 18-5-901 (13), shall constitute the assumption of a false or fictitious identity or capacity.

Have You Been Charged With or Arrested for Criminal Impersonation in Colorado Springs?

This is a serious offense for which you might serve time in prison. The prosecution must convince the jury that you assumed a fraudulent or fictitious identity for you to be found guilty. This can be a difficult charge to defend.

However, a jury cannot convict you of this crime unless they are absolutely certain that you are guilty. There are several methods to dispute this charge. To effectively defend yourself against a charge like this, you still need to understand how the law operates as well as what the El Paso County District Attorney will need to present.

Contact a Colorado criminal defense attorney at Right Law Group for advice on how to proceed.


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Colorado criminal procedure

  • Arrest or

    Arrest or

    The process begins with either an arrest or a summons. The accused is either arrested or served with paperwork summoning them to appear in court. During an arrest, Miranda rights may or may not be read to you. Officers are only required to recite your rights if they intend to question you about potentially incriminating things.

  • Bond Hearing

    Bond Hearing

    In most cases, you're entitled to have a reasonable bond set after you've been arrested. In situations involving domestic violence, the police will request input from the victim before setting a bond. Bonds are set to ensure that a person appears in court at their court dates. If they don’t show up, they forfeit the money that was paid for the bond.

  • Advisement of

    Advisement of

    Whether you are arrested or given a summons to appear, the court must make sure you understand what crimes you are being accused of committing. This is called advisement of charges. The District Attorney will detail the specific charges against you, and the Judge has to make sure you understand what possible penalties are associated with that charge in the state.

  • Preliminary Hearing
    (for Higher Felony

    Preliminary Hearing
    (for Higher Felony

    A preliminary hearing is a way for your defense attorney to challenge the District Attorney’s right to bring charges against you by making them prove that there is reason to believe you committed a crime. The Judge is not deciding your guilt or innocence, but rather whether or not there is probable cause to charge you with the crime in question.

  • Pretrial Conference /

    Pretrial Conference /

    This court date comes after your attorney has reviewed all of the reports and evidence in your case. Here’s where your attorney will engage in plea negotiations with the DA. If they can reach an agreement on the case, you may be able to take a plea bargain. If they cannot reach a resolution, your case will be set for an arraignment or trial date.

  • Arraignment


    An arraignment is the final date for you to decide how you choose to plea. Guilty or not guilty. If you plead guilty, then the case is set for a sentencing date. If you plead not guilty, you and your attorney will then set the case for trial.

  • Motions Hearing

    Motions Hearing

    A motion hearing is when an attorney makes a request that requires a decision from the judge. For example, motions to suppress evidence or statements. These motions can limit the information that goes before a jury if it benefits your case, and there are legal grounds for doing so.

  • Pretrial Readiness

    Pretrial Readiness

    A pretrial readiness conference is held at some point before trial. It usually is held about a week to a month before the date trial is set to begin. This court date ensures everyone is ready to go to trial on the set date. It is also a time for lawyers to bring up any issues they may have to be addressed before the day of trial.

  • Jury Trial

    Jury Trial

    After a jury is selected for trial, the District Attorney’s responsibility is to present the case to the jury. The DA must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you are guilty of the crime. Otherwise, the jury must find you innocent. Your attorney will be able to cross-examine all of the witnesses, present evidence, and ultimately help you navigate this process.

  • Sentencing


    At sentencing, the Judge must decide the appropriate legal penalty for the crime you plead guilty. The Judge’s decision is based on the listed penalties for the specific charge, recommendations from the presentence investigation, your criminal history, as well as statements made at the sentencing by the District Attorney, your attorney, you, and any named victims of the crime.

Frequently Asked Questions

What constitutes criminal impersonation in Colorado?

Here are a few acts that can, with the requisite intention, amount to criminal impersonation:

  • Possessing a fictitious or stolen identity
  • Possessing a defective or stolen S.S. # (Social Security number) (SSN)
  • Possessing a driver’s license that is fake or stolen
  • Possessing a false or stolen visas or passports
  • Possessing a counterfeit or false birth certificate

Is it illegal to impersonate a peace officer in Colorado?

When someone falsely represents himself as a police officer and acts in that capacity, they are guilty of a criminal impersonation. This carries a maximum sentence of 18 months in jail or prison since it is classified as a Class 6 felony.

What are the collateral consequences of being charged with criminal impersonation in Colorado?

You can imagine that impersonation will impact circumstances where credibility matters. Such circumstances include clearing a background check, applying for specific licenses, or securing a loan.