False Personation (West's Encyclopedia of American Law)
The crime of falsely assuming the identity of another to gain a benefit or avoid an expense.
The crime of falsely assuming the identity of another person in order to gain a benefit or cause harm to the other person can be referred to as false personation or false IMPERSONATION. False personation laws have been enacted at both the state and federal levels to protect the dignity, reputation, and economic well-being of the individual being impersonated. Further, these statutes deter criminals by discouraging the impersonator's pursuit of benefits.
A false impersonator need not alter her or his voice, wear a disguise, or otherwise change her or his characteristics or appearance in order to be found guilty. False personation simply involves passing oneself off as another person. For example, an individual who misrepresents herself to be someone else in order to wrongfully cash that person's paycheck commits false personation.
The person impersonated must be real, not fictitious. If a police officer pulls a driver over for speeding, and the driver pretends to be his brother, the driver is guilty of false personation. His brother is an actual person, and the crime of false personation is designed to take advantage of his brother's reputation and driving record. If the driver pretends to be Dick Tracy, a...
(The entire section is 449 words.)
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