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Virginia has a large number of military members and veterans as residents. With that comes certain rights and privileges. Unfortunately, there are times when a person might be accused of violating the law by claiming to be a member or former member of the military. It is against the law for a person to represent him or herself as a member of the military or to have the rights and privileges that accompany that. For those who have been confronted with allegations of having military status, it can lead to an arrest with its penalties for a conviction.

Anyone who falsely represents him or herself as a member of the U.S. Armed Forces, the Reserves or the National Guard by wearing any item related to this is violating the law. This applies to a uniform, a medal or an insignia that military members or former military members are authorized to wear. A person who does this and receives services will be charged with false representation of military status.

It is also against the law to falsely represent oneself as a person who has received a medal or a decoration that was created to honor a military member or veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces, the Reserves or the National Guard in order to receive services based on that. Charges related to these violations will result in a Class 1 misdemeanor. With a Class 1 misdemeanor, the penalties for a conviction will include a jail sentence of as long as one year, a fine of up to $2,500, or both.

There will be a certain stigma for a person who is facing allegations of this type of fraud. The arrest might have been due to a misunderstanding or the person might have made a mistake. Regardless, when dealing with any level of white collar crime charges, the most important factor is lodging a defense with help from an experienced lawyer.

Source:, "18.2-177.1. False representation of military status; penalty.," accessed on Jan. 20, 2017

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