Corpus Christi, TX asked in Criminal Law, Civil Rights, Libel & Slander and Small Claims for Texas

Q: Persons. Presented themselves as law enforcement officers to me. To obtain a dog for a police department

I have texts. Recordings. Pictures. These men are not law enforcement officers. They are now. Threwtening to shoot me. Sheriff offfice will do nothing

1 Lawyer Answer
John Michael Frick
John Michael Frick
  • Frisco, TX
  • Licensed in Texas

A: If you sold a dog to individuals under the mistaken belief that they are law enforcement officers, a question arises as to whether you sustained any damages. You would need to present evidence of some difference in the price that you sold the dog for compared to the price that you would have been able to sell the dog for to others. For example, if you gave the buyers a $100 discount on the purchase price because you thought they were LEOs, your damages would be $100 if you can show that you could have sold the dog for $100 more to another willing buyer. This represents the type of case our justice of the peace courts can most easily address if the amount involved is $20,000 or less.

It is rare that a county sheriff or other law enforcement will get involved in a civil dispute like this, even if there technically was a violation of a criminal statute (e.g. impersonating a peace officer). The crime of impersonating a public servant requires an intent to induce another to submit to the person's pretended official authority or to rely on the person's pretended official acts or the exercise of a function of a public servant. The purchase of a dog does not seem to fall within those elements of an offense, so the sheriff probably would not pursue criminal charges under such circumstances.

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