The U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado struck down the federal Stolen Valor Act recently, holding that the law violates the First Amendment right to free speech and is therefore unconstitutional. The Stolen Valor Act, which was passed in 2005, made it a crime to falsely present oneself as having earned any kind of military decoration or medal.
In this case, known as U.S. v. Strandlof, the defendant was charged with having violated the Stolen Valor Act by having lied about receiving a Purple Heart and a Silver Star. The defendant argued that the criminal charges violated his First Amendment right to free speech. The government argued that the defendant’s lying about his military awards was not “political,” and therefore not the type of speech the First Amendment should protect.
The district court sided with the defendant, holding that the Stolen Valor Act does violate the First Amendment and that the government should not be allowed to dictate what does and does not count as protected speech.
Lying about one’s military honors may be uncouth, but this court held that protecting free speech is more important than charging alleged liars with crimes. If you have been charged with a crime in Colorado, you also have a number of Constitutional rights. To ensure your rights are fully protected, contact a skilled Colorado Springs criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. The experienced criminal defense attorneys at The Bussey Law Firm P.C. will fight to protect your Constitutional rights in a court of law and earn a favorable verdict. Schedule a free and confidential case evaluation with The Bussey Law Firm P.C. today by calling 719-475-2555.