Under New York Law, selling a police uniform to someone who is not a member of a police department or someone authorized to make the purchase on behalf of the police department is a crime. This charge is called Criminal Sale of a Police Uniform, and it is codified in New York Penal Law Section 190.27.

PL 190.27: Criminal Sale of a Police Uniform Charge Explained

Under Penal Law Section 190.27, a person is guilty of Criminal Sale of a Police Uniform when:

  1. S/he sells or offers for sale the uniform of any police officer to any person,
  2. Unless presented with a valid photo identification card showing the purchaser to be a member of the police department which has authorized the requested uniform or an authorization to purchase specified uniforms signed by the police chief or the police commissioner of such police department accompanied by a personal photo identification.

Who is Considered a “Police Officer?”

The definition of a “police officer” for the purposes of the Criminal Sale of a Police Uniform Charge also includes federal law enforcement officers, as this charge is defined in Section 2.15 of the Criminal Procedure Law. The following are examples of federal law enforcement agents:

  • Federal Bureau of Investigation special agents;
  • U.S. Secret Service special agents;
  • U.S. Marshalls;
  • Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agents;
  • U.S. Park Police.

What is a “Police Uniform?”

A police uniform includes all or any part of the uniform which identifies the wearer as a member of a police department, such as:

  • The uniform,
  • Shield,
  • Badge,
  • Numbers, OR
  • Other identifying insignias or emblems.

Sentencing and Penalties for Criminal Sale of a Police Uniform

Under New York Law, Criminal Sale of a Police Uniform is a Class “A” Misdemeanor. As such, this charge is punishable by:

  • Up to 1 year in jail,
  • Probation,
  • Conditional Discharge (with the conditions set by the sentencing court),
  • Unconditional Discharge (no conditions of sentencing set by the court),
  • Time served (even if minimal).

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