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Emblems, Insignia, and Names

Federal Defense Attorney Explains Crimes Related to Emblems and Insignia

Federal Emblems, Insignia, Names ChargesThere are certain circumstances in which it is unlawful to wear emblems or insignias without authorization. There are also circumstances in which it is unlawful to use a specific name that does not belong to you.

Misappropriating or misusing protected emblems, insignias or names can result in federal criminal charges, which carry harsh penalties including imprisonment.

You need to take charges seriously if you’re accused of a federal crime related to emblems, insignias or names. While misusing a name or wearing a uniform that doesn’t belong to you may seem like minor offenses, penalties for criminal misconduct and a criminal record can change your future. It’s important you are represented by a federal criminal lawyer who understands the laws, knows the severity of the charges, and can help you to develop the best response to accusations made against you.

LV Criminal Defense can help clients in Oregon, California, Nevada, Utah, and Arizona who have been charged with a federal crime related to emblems, insignias, or names. To find out more about the ways in which our firm can help you fight accusations against you, give us a call today.

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Federal Laws on Emblems, Insignias, and Names

Federal crimes related to emblems, insignias, and names are found within 18 U.S. Code Chapter 33. There are 19 different statutes found within this code section, one of which has been repealed. The remaining 18 statutes define different types of offenses, establish what prosecutors must prove for each crime, and impose penalties for each particular offense. The statutes in 18 U.S. Code Chapter 33 include the following:

  • 18 U.S. code section 700: Desecration of the flag of the United States; penalties
  • 18 U.S. code section 701: Official badges, identification cards, other insignia
  • 18 U.S. code section 702: Uniform of armed forces and Public Health Service
  • 18 U.S. code section 703: Uniform of friendly nation
  • 18 U.S. code section 704: Military medals or decorations
  • 18 U.S. code section 705: Badge or medal of veterans’ organizations
  • 18 U.S. code section 706: Red Cross
  • 18 U.S. code section 706a: Geneva distinctive emblems
  • 18 U.S. code section 707: 4–H club emblem fraudulently used
  • 18 U.S. code section 708: Swiss Confederation coat of arms
  • 18 U.S. code section 709: False advertising or misuse of names to indicate Federal agency
  • 18 U.S. code section 710: Cremation urns for military use
  • 18 U.S. code section 711: “Smokey Bear” character or name
  • 18 U.S. code section 711a: “Woodsy Owl” character, name, or slogan
  • 18 U.S. code section 712: Misuse of names, words, emblems, or insignia
  • 18 U.S. code section 713: Use of likenesses of the great seal of the United States, the seals of the President and Vice President, the seal of the United States Senate, the seal of the United States House of Representatives, and the seal of the United States Congress
  • 18 U.S. code section 715: “The Golden Eagle Insignia”
  • 18 U.S. code section 716: Public employee insignia and uniform

Within each statute, there is a definition of that specific crime. The statutes also spell out the specific elements of each offense, and prosecutors are required to prove every element of each crime beyond a reasonable doubt in order for a defendant to be convicted of an offense.

Finally, the statute sets forth the penalties that the federal court could impose upon a defendant who is convicted of violating that particular law.

For example, 18 U.S. code section 703 establishes when it is a crime for an individual to wear the military or other official uniform of a friendly nation. Under the relevant statute, it is unlawful for anyone within the jurisdiction of the United States to wear a naval uniform, military uniform, police uniform, other official uniform, decoration, or regalia of a foreign state, nation, or government with the intent to deceive or mislead. It’s also unlawful to wear something so closely resembling such a uniform that it is calculated to deceive.

A defendant will be charged under this statute only if the uniform, decoration, or regalia belongs to a foreign state that the U.S. is at peace with. The penalty could include a fine and up to six months imprisonment.

Other statutes within Chapter 33 define different kinds of offenses, such as using a Swiss confederation coat of arms, which is made unlawful in 18 U.S. Code section 708. Under this statute, any corporation, partnership, or unincorporated company who willfully uses a coat of arms of the Swiss Confederation as an advertisement for any trade or commercial purposes can be fined and imprisoned for up to a six month period.

Because there are different elements that must be proved with each of the offenses in Chapter 33, it’s important to know what prosecutors must prove in your particular case and to work with a defense attorney to develop a customized response based on the specifics of your situation.

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Getting Help from a Federal Criminal Defense Attorney

LV Criminal Defense has provided help to defendants facing all different types of federal charges, including charges related to emblems, insignias and names. Our experienced federal criminal defense lawyers can provide comprehensive legal advice and can assist you in developing an appropriate legal strategy to respond to charges. The best response will depend upon the circumstances, including the strength of the prosecutor’s case and the defenses available to you.

To find out more about the help our compassionate and knowledgeable legal team makes available to clients in Oregon, California, Nevada, Arizona, and Utah, give us a call today.

We will fight hard to protect your future when you are facing serious charges and our strong knowledge of federal criminal law will make it possible for you to get the best possible outcomes in a difficult situation. Call now to learn more.

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