There has been a recent slew of cop impersonations in both Fulton County and Cobb County. The most recent occurred earlier this morning, when Diondre Reeves followed and pulled a man over in DeKalb County. The man and his sister ended up calling 911 because they did not believe that Reeves was an actual police officer. Reeves allegedly behaved very aggressively and when he realized the two were onto him, he sped off in his truck. That gave them the opportunity to copy down his license plate number to give to police once he had driven away. The DeKalb County police ended up tracking the license plate number to Reeves' home.
Turns out Reeves was convicted of aggravated assault with intent to rape in May 2005 and is a registered sex offender. Sex crimes in Georgia, in which the victim is a minor or if the sex crime is of a dangerous nature, require the convicted person to register with the Georgia Sexual Offender Registry as part of his or her conviction. These sex crimes include: rape, aggravated sodomy, child molestation, and many others.
Reeves is now facing a few different charges for crimes against public administration in Georgia including impersonating a police officer, giving a false name, and obstruction. Let's take a look at these charges.
Impersonating a Police Officer
Georgia law defines impersonating a police officer in Georgia as when a person “falsely holds himself out as a peace officer or other public officer or employee with intent to mislead another into believing that he is actually such officer” (O.C.G.A. §16-10-23).
According to reports, Reeves attempted to convince a driver that he was a Georgia police officer and ended up pulling his vehicle over and aggressively barked orders to the driver and his sister.
If the state can prove that Reeves held himself out as a police officer with the intent to mislead the driver into believing that he was actually a police officer, he faces a felony conviction. Conviction for this crime includes a punishment of a fine up to $1,000 or by imprisonment of one to five years, or both.
Giving a False Name to a Law Enforcement Officer
Giving a false name to a law enforcement officer in Georgia is defined by the Georgia Code as when a person “gives a false name, address, or date of birth to a law enforcement officer in the lawful discharge of his official duties with the intent of misleading the officer as to their identity or birthdate” (O.C.G.A. §16-10-25).
Also according to reports, Reeves allegedly told officers that he was someone else when they arrived at his house after the attempted impersonation earlier today.
If convicted, the crime is considered a misdemeanor, and the punishment can include a fine up to $1,000, up to 12 months in jail, or both.
Obstruction of a Law Enforcement Officer in Georgia
Obstruction of a law enforcement officer in Georgia can be a misdemeanor or a felony.
A misdemeanor obstruction charge is defined by Georgia law as “when a person knowingly or willfully obstructs or hinders any law enforcement officer in the lawful discharge of his official duties.” O.C.G.A. §16-10-24(a).
A felony obstruction charge is defined by Georgia law as “when a person knowingly and willfully resist, obstruct, or oppose any law enforcement officer, prison guard, correctional officer, community supervision officer, probation officer, or conservation officer in the lawful discharge of his or her official duties by offering or doing violence to the person.” O.C.G.A. §16-10-24(b).
There is no information in the reports of Reeves' conduct toward his arresting officers, so it could be a misdemeanor obstruction charge or a felony obstruction charge. If he is convicted of the misdemeanor obstruction offense, he could face up to twelve months in jail, up to $1,000 in fines, or both. If he is convicted of the felony obstruction offense, he could face anywhere from one to five years in prison, a minimum fine of $300, community service, or anger management classes.
Here at Lawson and Berry, we do not assume anyone's guilt just because they have been accused of a crime. If you or a loved one has been charged with a crime in Georgia, you need a top-rated Georgia Criminal Defense Lawyer to help walk you through the process, best defend your case and protect your freedom.