Stolen Valor Act of 2005-2013
The Stolen Valor Act of 2005, signed into law by President George W. Bush on December 20, 2006, was a U.S. law that broadened the provisions of previous U.S. law addressing the unauthorized wear, manufacture, or sale of any military decorations and medals. The law made it a federal misdemeanor to falsely represent oneself as having received any U.S. military decoration or medal. If convicted, defendants might have been imprisoned for up to six months, unless the decoration lied about is the Medal of Honor, in which case imprisonment could have been up to one year. In United States v. Alvarez the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on June 28, 2012, that the Stolen Valor Act was an unconstitutional abridgment of the freedom of speech under the First Amendment, striking down the law in a 6 to 3 decision.
The Stolen Valor Act of 2013 (Pub.L. 113–12; H.R. 258) is a United States federal law that was passed by the 113th United States Congress. The law amends the federal criminal code to make it a crime for a person to fraudulently claim having received any of a series of particular military decorations with the intention of obtaining money, property, or other tangible benefit from convincing someone that he or she rightfully did receive that award. This law is a revised version of a previous one that was struck down by the Supreme Court of the United States for violating freedom of speech in the caseUnited States v. Alvarez.
The Stolen Valor Act of 2013 amends the federal criminal code to rewrite provisions relating to fraudulent claims about military service to subject to a fine, imprisonment for not more than one year, or both an individual who, with intent to obtain money, property, or other tangible benefit, fraudulently holds himself or herself out to be a recipient of:
- a Medal of Honor,
- a Distinguished Service Cross,
- a Navy Cross,
- an Air Force Cross,
- a Silver Star,
- a Purple Heart,
- a Combat Infantryman's Badge,
- a Combat Action Badge,
- a Combat Medical Badge,
- a Combat Action Ribbon,
- a Combat Action Medal, or
- any replacement or duplicate medal for such medal as authorized by law.