Closed Thread
Thread Tools Display Modes
#1
Old 09-04-2013, 11:34 AM
Guest
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Midcoast Maine, USA
Posts: 788
Am I being detained? Am I free to go?

If you are interested in knowing your rights, you may have run across one of the numerous online videos of people being questioned by the cops.

Inevitably, the person asks the officer, "Am I being detained?" Sometimes, the officer will try and dodge the question, but sometimes the officer will say a quick "no."

At that point, the person asks the question, "Am I free to go?" And the encounter drags on as they try to badger the officer for an answer to that question, even after they have already been told that they are not being detained.

Would not a "no" answer to that first question be a sufficient permission to leave?

Or is there some middle ground wherein you are not being detained by police, yet at the same time, not free to leave?

I am envisioning a scene similar to this:

Officer approaches me and asks "you mind showing me your ID?"
I ask, "Are you detaining me?"
Officer answers, "no."
So I say, "Then I'd rather not. Have a nice day officer!" and walk away.

What would be wrong, from a legal standpoint, with that situation? Furthermore, if the officer answers anything but "yes," (trying to dodge the question, for example), shouldn't the assumption be that I am free to go?
#2
Old 09-04-2013, 11:39 AM
Guest
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 2,165
Assuming the USA, as every country is different, you could walk away. However the officer could chose to arrest or detain you on some bogus infraction such as littering or maybe your car does have a tail light out. Certainly walking away would bring matters to a head quicker.
#3
Old 09-04-2013, 11:57 AM
Member
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Pacific NW.
Posts: 9,885
There are no magic words. Asking if you are being "detained" or asking if you're "free to go" will get you the information you need. Basically, those advocating asking both questions are just making sure the situation is clear to all involved. "So, officer, you won't object if I bid you farewell?" is also acceptable.
#4
Old 09-04-2013, 12:02 PM
BANNED
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 2,695
In general, when dealing with people with badges and guns (and tazers) if they tell you you're not free to leave, you probable should not just try to walk away. If they say you're not free to leave, that means you're being detained, regardless of what else they say. The detention may be illegal, but that's going to be for judges and lawyers to decide, later.

Now, if you're trying make case law, then go for it.
#5
Old 09-04-2013, 01:25 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Majikal Land O' Cheeze!
Posts: 9,980
The question should be "Am I under arrest" rather than "am I being detained"? One can be detained for a reasonable amount of time without being under arrest.
#6
Old 09-04-2013, 01:38 PM
Newbie
Moderator
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 8,053
The point is to ascertain if you are being compelled to remain. Asking if you are under arrest is not sufficient to make that determination for just the reason you mention. You could be detained without being under arrest, in which case you would not be free to leave.
#7
Old 09-04-2013, 01:40 PM
Guest
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Florida
Posts: 67,142
Quote:
Originally Posted by pkbites View Post
The question should be "Am I under arrest" rather than "am I being detained"? One can be detained for a reasonable amount of time without being under arrest.
If the point is to find out if you can walk away, that's not helpful.
#8
Old 09-04-2013, 01:53 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Majikal Land O' Cheeze!
Posts: 9,980
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bone View Post
The point is to ascertain if you are being compelled to remain. Asking if you are under arrest is not sufficient to make that determination for just the reason you mention. You could be detained without being under arrest, in which case you would not be free to leave.
Then the question should just be "am I free to leave". If the answer is no, then you should ask weather you are under arrest or just being detained as those are not the same things.
#9
Old 09-04-2013, 01:58 PM
Guest
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Florida
Posts: 67,142
If you are under arrest, you are being detained. The former is a subset of the latter.
#10
Old 09-04-2013, 01:59 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Milky Way Galaxy
Posts: 35,136
Am I correct in thinking that I never have to produce identifying documents? I have to give identifying information, like name, address, and birth date. But I do not have to produce any ID or driver's licence if I don't feel like it (and I am not driving a car).

IOW I am walking down the street, and Officer Friendly comes up and stops me (perfectly legal, on both sides, at this point).

Officer Friendly: Can I see some ID?

Me: My name is Shodan, I live at 123 Main Street, and I was born January 28, 1956.

OF: I would like to see some ID.

Me: No.

Can I do that, legally?

Regards,
Shodan
#11
Old 09-04-2013, 02:05 PM
Member
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: North of 8 Mile
Posts: 3,930
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shodan View Post
Am I correct in thinking that I never have to produce identifying documents? I have to give identifying information, like name, address, and birth date. But I do not have to produce any ID or driver's licence if I don't feel like it (and I am not driving a car).

IOW I am walking down the street, and Officer Friendly comes up and stops me (perfectly legal, on both sides, at this point).

Officer Friendly: Can I see some ID?

Me: My name is Shodan, I live at 123 Main Street, and I was born January 28, 1956.

OF: I would like to see some ID.

Me: No.

Can I do that, legally?

Regards,
Shodan
Of course you can. After you give him your name you should immediately asked him why you are being stopped and explain that you do not have any ID on you (even if you do). If he has no reason to detain you should wish him a good day and go on; no need to get snotty about it, bad manners will piss off an police officer and make him suspicious of you more than just about anything else other than actually committing a crime in front of him.

Last edited by Si Amigo; 09-04-2013 at 02:06 PM.
#12
Old 09-04-2013, 02:08 PM
Guest
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Florida
Posts: 67,142
Depends on the law of your state. Stop and identify statutes generally only require the verbal identification you provided in the hypothetical. In Kolender v. Lawson, SCOTUS invalidated a statute which required the suspect to provide "credible and reliable" identification, which was read to require the suspect to present ID. It was invalidated on vagueness grounds, though, not because the ID requirement was impermissible. As an unsupported legal conclusion, I expect that a suspect could not be required to present ID absent an arrest (and thus probable cause).
#13
Old 09-04-2013, 02:08 PM
Member
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Pacific NW.
Posts: 9,885
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shodan View Post
Am I correct in thinking that I never have to produce identifying documents? I have to give identifying information, like name, address, and birth date. But I do not have to produce any ID or driver's licence if I don't feel like it (and I am not driving a car).

IOW I am walking down the street, and Officer Friendly comes up and stops me (perfectly legal, on both sides, at this point).

Officer Friendly: Can I see some ID?

Me: My name is Shodan, I live at 123 Main Street, and I was born January 28, 1956.

OF: I would like to see some ID.

Me: No.

Can I do that, legally?

Regards,
Shodan
I thought the "papers please" law in AZ required some kind of proof of something. But only if you don't look American.

But, generally, you don't have to carry ID, so I don't see how you can be required to show it. I will tell you that the Coast Guard will ask for the ID of everyone on board if they stop a vessel. What happens if you say "no" is not something I've ever wanted to test. Those guys have no sense of humor (I asked if I could tour their boat, for example).
#14
Old 09-04-2013, 02:09 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: The Middle of Puget Sound
Posts: 21,049
I agree that these are two ways of asking the same question.

But it seems to me that the psychology of it is to get the cop to admit that you aren't detained, and then confirming with them that, since you aren't being detained you're free to go.

If you just ask "Am I free to go?", then he can respond with "Wait, I want to ask you some questions." But that's changing the subject without answering the question. By asking if you're detained first, you're clarifying that he's not detaining you, he's asking you to voluntarily chat with him, which cops are free to do just like everyone else. And if he's not detaining you, then you are free to go. But asking him again makes it clear to both of you what is happening.

I mean, suppose he says you're not being detained, and he says no, and then you ask if you're free to go, and then he decides that he needs to detain you after all when you don't consent to a voluntary chat?
#15
Old 09-04-2013, 02:11 PM
Guest
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Midcoast Maine, USA
Posts: 788
Quote:
Originally Posted by pkbites View Post
Then the question should just be "am I free to leave". If the answer is no, then you should ask weather you are under arrest or just being detained as those are not the same things.
If they don't give a yes or a no answer, and you ask several times, "am I free to go?"
At what point can you make the determination for yourself?

Something akin to saying, "You have not told me that you are detaining me, so I'm leaving unless you tell me I'm being detained."

I am talking about the USA here, so shouldn't the presumption be that I am always free to leave unless told otherwise?

Last edited by CoastalMaineiac; 09-04-2013 at 02:13 PM.
#16
Old 09-04-2013, 02:18 PM
Guest
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 1,249
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shodan View Post
Am I correct in thinking that I never have to produce identifying documents? I have to give identifying information, like name, address, and birth date. But I do not have to produce any ID or driver's licence if I don't feel like it (and I am not driving a car).
When asking questions like this, PLEASE tell us your State (if in the US) or Country (if outside the US). Especially if your forum location is set to "Milky Way Galaxy".

But what you said is generally true inside the US. Take a look at the Wiki article on Stop and Identify laws.

Last edited by Blakeyrat; 09-04-2013 at 02:20 PM.
#17
Old 09-04-2013, 02:21 PM
Guest
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Orygun forest
Posts: 4,477
Quote:
Originally Posted by Si Amigo View Post
Of course you can. After you give him your name you should immediately asked him why you are being stopped and explain that you do not have any ID on you (even if you do). If he has no reason to detain you should wish him a good day and go on; no need to get snotty about it, bad manners will piss off an police officer and make him suspicious of you more than just about anything else other than actually committing a crime in front of him.
And the police officer may decide to take you along to the station until you can be identified. Depends upon how your interaction with the officer is going. What you are a suspect of. If it goes badly they can detain you to determine your identity or for other reasons, for a certain length of time. All states have different rules.

If you are operating a motor vehicle and do not have ID, that is "failure to carry and present" and you may be cited or detained.

The authority is all in the hands of the police during an initial stop and trying to street lawyer yourself out of the situation rarely turns out well.

Also see Terry Stop.

Last edited by Dallas Jones; 09-04-2013 at 02:25 PM.
#18
Old 09-04-2013, 02:29 PM
Guest
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Challenger Deep
Posts: 10,412
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shodan View Post
Am I correct in thinking that I never have to produce identifying documents? I have to give identifying information, like name, address, and birth date. But I do not have to produce any ID or driver's licence if I don't feel like it (and I am not driving a car).

IOW I am walking down the street, and Officer Friendly comes up and stops me (perfectly legal, on both sides, at this point).

Officer Friendly: Can I see some ID?

Me: My name is Shodan, I live at 123 Main Street, and I was born January 28, 1956.

OF: I would like to see some ID.

Me: No.

Can I do that, legally?

Regards,
Shodan
To my knowledge, the only civilians required to carry ID with them in public in the US are registered aliens, who are suppose to have their green card with them at all times. I'm not sure under what circumstances they could be legally compelled to present it.

If you are operating a motor vehicle, you are required to have a valid driver's license with you and present it to a police officer upon request. If you are a passenger in a motor vehicle (or a pedestrian on the sidewalk), you do not.

That said, you must be willing to pay a certain price in pain-in-the-ass if you choose to stand up for that right. Witness the case of Michael Righi, who was arrested for refusing to show his driver's license to an officer. He made a conscious choice to stand up for his rights, and was willing to bear a certain cost for doing so, but finally dropped the issue when he saw that his family was also bearing a burden.
#19
Old 09-04-2013, 02:31 PM
Guest
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Midcoast Maine, USA
Posts: 788
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dallas Jones View Post
And the police officer may decide to take you along to the station until you can be identified. Depends upon how your interaction with the officer is going. What you are a suspect of. If it goes badly they can detain you to determine your identity or for other reasons, for a certain length of time. All states have different rules.

If you are operating a motor vehicle and do not have ID, that is "failure to carry and present" and you may be cited or detained.

The authority is all in the hands of the police during an initial stop and trying to street lawyer yourself out of the situation rarely turns out well.

Also see Terry Stop.
Well, I'm well aware of the need to present a drivers' license when being stopped in your vehicle. As far as I know, the flashing blue lights in the rear-view mirror would be answering the "Am I being detained?" question with a resounding "yes!"

There are more obligations placed upon us when we drive, but I wasn't specifically talking about driving in this case, just walking down the street minding my own business.
#20
Old 09-04-2013, 02:56 PM
Newbie
Moderator
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 8,053
Quote:
Originally Posted by pkbites View Post
Then the question should just be "am I free to leave". If the answer is no, then you should ask weather you are under arrest or just being detained as those are not the same things.
An arrest is a form of detention so asking if you are being detained is inclusive of that. In other words, the point isn't to eek out under what nuance you are being held, it is simply to determine first if you are being held. If the answer is no, you double down and verify so that there is no misunderstanding. If the answer is yes, and you are being held, the response is the same regarding simple detention or arrest so that nuance isn't necessary. The response is "I will not answer any questions. I want to speak to a lawyer." Or, you can hand them this business card.

Last edited by Bone; 09-04-2013 at 02:58 PM.
#21
Old 09-04-2013, 03:35 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Majikal Land O' Cheeze!
Posts: 9,980
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bone View Post
An arrest is a form of detention so asking if you are being detained is inclusive of that.
This isn't exactly correct. being detained and being under arrest are 2 different things. Which is why I posted to ask both. One can be detained without being under arrest. And when one is under arrest one is under arrest, not just detained.
#22
Old 09-04-2013, 03:48 PM
Guest
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Worcestershire UK
Posts: 5,520
In the UK a police officer has the right to stop and search: "A police officer has powers to stop you at any time and ask you: what you’re doing, why you’re in an area and/or where you’re going
However, you don’t have to answer any questions the police officer asks you. (In practice not answering is provocative)

Stop and search: police powers
A police officer has powers to stop and search you if they have ‘reasonable grounds’ to suspect you’re carrying: illegal drugs, a weapon,stolen property or something which could be used to commit a crime, eg a crowbar. They do not have to be in uniform, and 'reasonable grounds, is a matter for them.

A car driver is in the same position and does not have to prove his identity or carry a driving licence. However, if the police think that a driver is not who he says he is, he may have to go to a police station until the matter of identity is resolved.

An individual who is 'asked' to go with a PC can refuse and there is not a lot the police can do apart from arrest them. As in the US, the clock starts ticking at the time of an arrest so they don't like doing it if they can avoid it.

Last edited by bob++; 09-04-2013 at 03:49 PM.
#23
Old 09-04-2013, 03:55 PM
Guest
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Cebu, Philippines
Posts: 13,279
Quote:
Originally Posted by Machine Elf View Post
T He made a conscious choice to stand up for his rights, and was willing to bear a certain cost for doing so, but finally dropped the issue when he saw that his family was also bearing a burden.
And therein lies the crux. You have only as many rights as you (and your family) can afford to pay the cost of enforcing. The police are always right, unless you can afford to prove them wrong.

Last edited by jtur88; 09-04-2013 at 03:57 PM.
#24
Old 09-04-2013, 04:02 PM
BANNED
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: USA
Posts: 6,791
United States. East Coast

In the real world, if a cop asks you for ID, even though he has no legal right to do so, refusing to show an ID will most likely result in your arrest. You must identify yourself, but by law you are not required to carry papers. This will not matter.

The real reason for the arrest will be a made up charge. It will probably end when the officer does not show up for court. You still will have been arrested, spent time in jail, and be required to post a bond, or at the very least show up for a court date.

Unless of course you are a well off white person, and you quickly identify yourself by name, birth date, social and address, which the LEO can quickly verify. Your picture will actually show up on their computer now.

But refusing to comply in the US can end very badly, and very quickly.
#25
Old 09-04-2013, 04:03 PM
Member
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: North of 8 Mile
Posts: 3,930
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dallas Jones View Post
And the police officer may decide to take you along to the station until you can be identified. Depends upon how your interaction with the officer is going. What you are a suspect of. If it goes badly they can detain you to determine your identity or for other reasons, for a certain length of time. All states have different rules.

If you are operating a motor vehicle and do not have ID, that is "failure to carry and present" and you may be cited or detained.

The authority is all in the hands of the police during an initial stop and trying to street lawyer yourself out of the situation rarely turns out well.

Also see Terry Stop.
It's not street lawyering to answer the police officers question and excuse yourself from the scene if you can do so without coming off as an ass. It really depends on why he is stopping and asking you for your identity. Maybe he needs to know if you witnessed something. Maybe someone pointed you out as a suspect in something. Maybe he wanted to thank you for being a good citizen. The key is not to be an asshole to a cop if he stops and talks to you. Same rule applies to anyone who stops and ask you something.
#26
Old 09-04-2013, 04:07 PM
BANNED
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: USA
Posts: 6,791
Don't be an asshole works pretty well everywhere.
#27
Old 09-04-2013, 04:16 PM
Newbie
Moderator
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 8,053
Quote:
Originally Posted by pkbites View Post
This isn't exactly correct. being detained and being under arrest are 2 different things. Which is why I posted to ask both. One can be detained without being under arrest. And when one is under arrest one is under arrest, not just detained.
I understand they are different, but for the purpose of the line of questioning, my point is the difference is of no consequence. I think we may be talking past each other. When you ask if you are being detained, the answer will be yes if you are either under arrest or simply detained because when you are under arrest that is also a form of detention. There is no difference from the perspective of the person doing the asking because the result will be the same regardless of whether you are under arrest or just being detained.

It wouldn't make sense for a person to ask, "Am I being detained" and the officer answers, "No. But you are under arrest!"
#28
Old 09-04-2013, 04:51 PM
The Central Scrutinizer
Moderator
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Pork Roll/Taylor Ham
Posts: 23,182
Quote:
Originally Posted by FXMastermind View Post
United States. East Coast

In the real world, if a cop asks you for ID, even though he has no legal right to do so, refusing to show an ID will most likely result in your arrest. You must identify yourself, but by law you are not required to carry papers. This will not matter.

The real reason for the arrest will be a made up charge. It will probably end when the officer does not show up for court. You still will have been arrested, spent time in jail, and be required to post a bond, or at the very least show up for a court date.

Unless of course you are a well off white person, and you quickly identify yourself by name, birth date, social and address, which the LEO can quickly verify. Your picture will actually show up on their computer now.

But refusing to comply in the US can end very badly, and very quickly.
Since this is GQ I'll just go with the old standby. Cite? The classics are always the best.
#29
Old 09-04-2013, 05:37 PM
Guest
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 1,448
Quote:
Originally Posted by CoastalMaineiac View Post
I am envisioning a scene similar to this:

Officer approaches me and asks "you mind showing me your ID?"
I ask, "Are you detaining me?"
Officer answers, "no."
So I say, "Then I'd rather not. Have a nice day officer!" and walk away.
COMPLETELY legal.
#30
Old 09-04-2013, 05:42 PM
Guest
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 1,448
Quote:
Originally Posted by Si Amigo
Of course you can. After you give him your name you should immediately asked him why you are being stopped and explain that you do not have any ID on you (even if you do).
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dallas Jones View Post
And the police officer may decide to take you along to the station until you can be identified. Depends upon how your interaction with the officer is going. What you are a suspect of. If it goes badly they can detain you to determine your identity or for other reasons, for a certain length of time. All states have different rules.
Amigo said he gave him his name, so how can the officer take him in for not doing so?
#31
Old 09-04-2013, 05:47 PM
Guest
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 1,448
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shodan View Post
Am I correct in thinking that I never have to produce identifying documents? I have to give identifying information, like name, address, and birth date. But I do not have to produce any ID or driver's licence if I don't feel like it (and I am not driving a car).

IOW I am walking down the street, and Officer Friendly comes up and stops me (perfectly legal, on both sides, at this point).

Officer Friendly: Can I see some ID?

Me: My name is Shodan, I live at 123 Main Street, and I was born January 28, 1956.

OF: I would like to see some ID.

Me: No.

Can I do that, legally?

Regards,
Shodan
A DEMAND can only be made under the Hiibel case. Now, a request can seem/appear to be a demand, at times there is a fine line in language to consider whether it is a seizure or consensual encounter.

The thing to say is "Am I under investigation per the Hiibel case"? If the answer is NO, then it is definitive, you do NOT have to show ID.
#32
Old 09-04-2013, 09:54 PM
And Full Contact Origami
SDSAB
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 55,012
Quote:
Originally Posted by lawbuff View Post
COMPLETELY legal.
Agreed. The gravamen of a citizen consensual encounter with police is that the citizen is free to disregard the police inquiry and go about his business.
#33
Old 09-05-2013, 12:09 AM
BANNED
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Antioch
Posts: 11,459
Depends on how dark your skin is according to the subjects of King Mayor Bloomberg. This is an area of law that used to be clear, but the stop and frisk policies of New York and cities following it seem to be successfully undermining that.

Last edited by The Second Stone; 09-05-2013 at 12:10 AM.
#34
Old 09-05-2013, 12:59 AM
Guest
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 13,238
"Show me some ID".

"Of course, officer, if you want to follow me home then wait outside while I fetch some for you."

Not denying I have ID (would that be obstruction?) but I can always walk/amble home to get my passport. They can't make you walk faster or make you ride in the squad car, I assume...
#35
Old 09-05-2013, 03:33 AM
Charter Member
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Western New York
Posts: 75,053
The legal distinction is that the police can stop and ask anyone questions in a general way just like you could stop and ask somebody questions.

The police also have the power to detain people - the person being asked questions legally has to stay. Obviously, a civilian doesn't have this power. But it's not a universal power - the police officer has to have a reason why he's detaining somebody.

So when you ask a police officer "Am I being detained?" or "Am I free to go?" or "Can I leave now?" you're basically forcing him to make a decision about whether or not he has sufficient grounds to detain you. If he says no, you can walk away. If he says yes, you have to stay but you now have grounds to sue the police department if you can establish he did not have sufficient grounds to detain you.
#36
Old 09-05-2013, 04:22 AM
BANNED
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 8,596
Quote:
Originally Posted by Loach View Post
Since this is GQ I'll just go with the old standby. Cite? The classics are always the best.
I've been told by more than one police officer in HPD(Houston police department) that it is illegal to not produce a state ID or driver's license when requested to by a cop. Texas does have a stop and identify statue that only requires you to identify yourself, the reasoning the cops gave was that the law requires a person to identify themselves and the only verifiable way to do that is with ID. I was never arrested however for failing to produce ID, only threatened with the possibility.

I also located a police forum where a Texas cop repeated that same faulty reasoning.

Don't ask for a cite because like I said the law says one thing, cops on the street say another. I am not contending that you are required to produce ID by law, only that some police officers have the mistaken belief you are.
#37
Old 09-05-2013, 07:46 AM
Guest
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Challenger Deep
Posts: 10,412
Quote:
Originally Posted by grude View Post
Don't ask for a cite because like I said the law says one thing, cops on the street say another. I am not contending that you are required to produce ID by law, only that some police officers have the mistaken belief you are.
I wonder what those cops think of the furor over voter ID laws, given that the one of the complaints is that the poor frequently don't have state-issued ID (because it's a PITA to get). I also wonder how those cops deal with kids under the driving age, who (obviously) don't have driver licenses, and hardly ever have state-issued ID cards.
#38
Old 09-05-2013, 08:14 AM
Member
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: North of Boston
Posts: 9,858
Quote:
Originally Posted by Little Nemo View Post
The legal distinction is that the police can stop and ask anyone questions in a general way just like you could stop and ask somebody questions.
But outside a very few limited situations, a civilian doesn't have the right to "stop" anyone in the USA. If I'm walking along, and someone asks me to stop and answer a few questions, I have no legal, ethical, moral, or social obligation to stop. If they wish to walk with me and ask questions, I have no legal, ethical, moral, or social obligation to respond, or even to acknowledge their existence. If they attempt to stop me by physical contact, they've committed assault. Is all that true for a police officer?
#39
Old 09-05-2013, 08:58 AM
The Central Scrutinizer
Moderator
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Pork Roll/Taylor Ham
Posts: 23,182
Quote:
Originally Posted by grude View Post
I've been told by more than one police officer in HPD(Houston police department) that it is illegal to not produce a state ID or driver's license when requested to by a cop. Texas does have a stop and identify statue that only requires you to identify yourself, the reasoning the cops gave was that the law requires a person to identify themselves and the only verifiable way to do that is with ID. I was never arrested however for failing to produce ID, only threatened with the possibility.

I also located a police forum where a Texas cop repeated that same faulty reasoning.

Don't ask for a cite because like I said the law says one thing, cops on the street say another. I am not contending that you are required to produce ID by law, only that some police officers have the mistaken belief you are.
I didn't ask you for a cite. The guy I did ask said:

Quote:
In the real world, if a cop asks you for ID, even though he has no legal right to do so, refusing to show an ID will most likely result in your arrest.
I thought GQ had a higher standard than that. The above is false and shouldn't stand in GQ without a cite. You of course are correct, some officers get the law wrong. Just like in every profession there are varying levels of competence.

I don't know about the law in Texas but we do not have a similar one here. In my 15 years on the job I have not seen anyone arrested for not having an ID. It just isn't done. Not having ID is such a common occurrence it would be ridiculous to do so.

One thing I liked about the show The Wire. It showed that cops are like most people in every job. Most don't want to have to do more work than they have to. No reason to arrest random people for no reason. Just more paperwork. Who wants more paperwork?
#40
Old 09-05-2013, 09:23 AM
Guest
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Florida
Posts: 67,142
Quote:
Originally Posted by grude View Post
I've been told by more than one police officer in HPD(Houston police department) that it is illegal to not produce a state ID or driver's license when requested to by a cop. Texas does have a stop and identify statue that only requires you to identify yourself, the reasoning the cops gave was that the law requires a person to identify themselves and the only verifiable way to do that is with ID. I was never arrested however for failing to produce ID, only threatened with the possibility.
Texas' stop-and-identify statute (Tex. Pen. Code 38.02 includes no such requirement.
Quote:
FAILURE TO IDENTIFY. (a) A person commits an )
offense if he intentionally refuses to give his name, residence
address, or date of birth to a peace officer who has lawfully
arrested the person and requested the information.
(b) A person commits an offense if he intentionally gives a
false or fictitious name, residence address, or date of birth to a
peace officer who has:
(1) lawfully arrested the person;
(2) lawfully detained the person; or
(3) requested the information from a person that the
peace officer has good cause to believe is a witness to a criminal
offense.
(c) Except as provided by Subsections (d) and (e), an
offense under this section is:
(1) a Class C misdemeanor if the offense is committed
under Subsection (a); or
(2) a Class B misdemeanor if the offense is committed
under Subsection (b).
(d) If it is shown on the trial of an offense under this
section that the defendant was a fugitive from justice at the time
of the offense, the offense is:
(1) a Class B misdemeanor if the offense is committed
under Subsection (a); or
(2) a Class A misdemeanor if the offense is committed
under Subsection (b).
(e) If conduct that constitutes an offense under this
section also constitutes an offense under Section 106.07, Alcoholic
Beverage Code, the actor may be prosecuted only under Section
106.07.
#41
Old 09-05-2013, 09:31 AM
BANNED
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: USA
Posts: 6,791
Quote:
Originally Posted by Loach View Post
In my 15 years on the job I have not seen anyone arrested for not having an ID. It just isn't done. Not having ID is such a common occurrence it would be ridiculous to do so.
I thought GQ had a higher standard than that. The above is false and shouldn't stand in GQ without a cite.
#42
Old 09-05-2013, 09:35 AM
Guest
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Florida
Posts: 67,142
Reported.
#43
Old 09-05-2013, 09:59 AM
Charter Member
Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: Raiderville, TX
Posts: 10,374
Quote:
Originally Posted by Really Not All That Bright View Post
Texas' stop-and-identify statute (Tex. Pen. Code 38.02 includes no such requirement.
Note that violating section (a) requires that the person be under arrest before refusing to give identifying information, and violating (b) requires that the person deliberately give false information after being arrested, lawfully detained, or witnessing an offense. Section 38.02 does not prohibit a random person, one not suspected of anything, from just walking away if asked for ID during a consensual encounter.
#44
Old 09-05-2013, 10:03 AM
BANNED
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: USA
Posts: 6,791
Quote:
Originally Posted by Loach View Post
Since this is GQ I'll just go with the old standby. Cite? The classics are always the best.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Loach View Post
Most don't want to have to do more work than they have to. No reason to arrest random people for no reason. Just more paperwork. Who wants more paperwork?
Since this is GQ I'll just go with the old standby. Cite?

If somebody makes a statement, and you demand they produce a "Cite", don't get mad when you now have to live up to your own standard.

Last edited by FXMastermind; 09-05-2013 at 10:04 AM.
#45
Old 09-05-2013, 10:35 AM
Member
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: North of 8 Mile
Posts: 3,930
Quote:
Originally Posted by FXMastermind View Post
Since this is GQ I'll just go with the old standby. Cite?

If somebody makes a statement, and you demand they produce a "Cite", don't get mad when you now have to live up to your own standard.
Since Loach is a cop he is citing his own personal experience. He doesn't have to post it in a blog and provide you with a hyperlink to his blog to make it a "cite".

And didn't you read my post above about not pissing off a police officer if you don't have to.
#46
Old 09-05-2013, 10:42 AM
Member
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: North of 8 Mile
Posts: 3,930
Quote:
Originally Posted by FXMastermind View Post
Don't be an asshole works pretty well everywhere.
Oh wait, yes you did.
#47
Old 09-05-2013, 10:42 AM
BANNED
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: USA
Posts: 6,791
If you are pissed off because somebody asks you to do the same thing you demand somebody else do, then you got a problem.

Oh wait, that is pretty much the thread at this point.
#48
Old 09-05-2013, 10:46 AM
BANNED
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: USA
Posts: 6,791
By law, and in principle, no law enforcement officer can just stop and demand you do anything. There has to be a lawful investigation, and a real cop knows this. Detaining or arresting somebody with no cause is a serious offense. If you are not a cop, it's a felony.

If you are a cop, it's just part of the job. You can be arrested for failing to do what a cop tells you to do. It happens all the time.

Failure to halt, follow instructions, it's considered a crime. The catch is, that unless it's in the course of conducting a lawful investigation, it's illegal to detain or arrest a US citizen. Or to ask them for ID
#49
Old 09-05-2013, 10:47 AM
BANNED
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 2,695
Not carrying ID and refusing to identify yourself are two different things. Assuming you're not driving, you're not required to carry ID. If you're detained, however, you are required to identifiy yourself, at least in my state - TX (see above).

Who makes the initial decision whether you're being detained? The officer, of course. Not you.

You can always contest that decision, of course, weeks or months later, in court, if its worth it to you.
#50
Old 09-05-2013, 11:10 AM
And Full Contact Origami
SDSAB
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 55,012
Quote:
Originally Posted by FXMastermind View Post
The catch is, that unless it's in the course of conducting a lawful investigation, it's illegal to detain or arrest a US citizen. Or to ask them for ID
It is?

Send me your ID, please, right now.

What crime did I just commit?

There's no crime I know of in asking anyone for ID. Just as with police officers, any person is entitled to walk up to anyone else and ask them questions. As long as the person is free to disregard those inquiries and go about his business, I'm not aware of any state that would criminalize that encounter.

Any cop, and any person, can approach you for any reason they please and ask you questions about anything...as long as you are free to disregard those inquiries and go about your business.

Last edited by Bricker; 09-05-2013 at 11:13 AM.
Closed Thread

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:58 PM.

Copyright © 2017
Best Topics: reddit everclear smearing feces meaning change handwriting pocketbook vs purse bogie wheels kids prank calling raging boner opossum pronunciation ammonia spirits sharwoods tikka masala rura penthe rolled coins late growth spurts best stripper names my death space limerick meter mre cigarettes nike yamaka opie andy papaya smells colitas, frig or fridge colder than jokes sudafed nondrowsy flashing at graduation libertine club biggest game world enterprise miles hawk behavior praire schooner capirote kkk pianist pronunciation bat poop in doritos ebay buyer not paying can i relist japanese titles of nobility there once was a man from nantucket whose d does usps process mail on sundays how does david blaine do his tricks hi ho silver meaning is hepatitis c capitalized cost of engraving at things remembered can you eat week old pizza delayed period on birth control why does my fever get worse at night how long does movies stay in theaters gangs of new york accuracy jump his bones meaning foreign service background check lion versus bear fight discount snap on tool is heartworm medication necessary throwing out a mattress do crickets feel pain the count of monte cristo best translation is soma a benzo can i eat wild onions paypal can't remove credit card what is in bridge mix how many people have died at victoria falls black and white creature guide video with least dislikes on youtube steve young pass to himself what to do if you swallow glass will chlorine tablets kill mosquito larvae hinterland who's who spider