Section 148.1 Criminal Code Act | Impersonating a Commonwealth Public Official


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The Legislation

Section 148.1 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth) is Impersonating a Commonwealth Public Official and is extracted below.

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148.1  Impersonation of an official by a non-official

(1)  A person other than a Commonwealth public official is guilty of an offence if:

(a)  on a particular occasion, the person impersonates another person in that other person’s capacity as a Commonwealth public official; and

(b)  the first-mentioned person does so knowing it to be in circumstances when the official is likely to be on duty; and

(c)  the first-mentioned person does so with intent to deceive.

Penalty:  Imprisonment for 2 years.

(2)  A person other than a Commonwealth public official is guilty of an offence if:

(a)  the person falsely represents himself or herself to be a Commonwealth public official in a particular capacity; and

(b)  the person does so in the course of doing an act, or attending a place, in the assumed capacity of such an official.

Penalty:  Imprisonment for 2 years.

(2A)  For the purposes of subsection (2), it is immaterial whether that capacity as a Commonwealth public official exists or is fictitious.

(3)  A person other than a Commonwealth public official is guilty of an offence if:

(a)  the person:

(i)  impersonates another person in that other person’s capacity as a Commonwealth public official; or

(ii)  falsely represents himself or herself to be a Commonwealth public official in a particular capacity; and

(b)  the first-mentioned person does so with the intention of:

(i)  obtaining a gain; or

(ii)  causing a loss; or

(iii)  influencing the exercise of a public duty or function; and

(c)  if subparagraph (a)(i) applies—the first-mentioned person also does so with intent to deceive.

Penalty:  Imprisonment for 5 years.

(3A)  For the purposes of subparagraph (3)(a)(ii), it is immaterial whether that capacity as a Commonwealth public official exists or is fictitious.

(4)  The definition of duty in section 130.1 does not apply to this section.

(5)  To avoid doubt, for the purposes of this section:

(a)  impersonation does not include conduct engaged in solely for satirical purposes; and

(b)  false representation does not include conduct engaged in solely for satirical purposes.