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failure to ID

Some states have laws (statutes) that require a person to accurately provide their identification (ID) (name, residence address, date of birth) to the police if the police have reasonable suspicion to believe (1) a crime has been committed, is being committed, or is about to be committed and (2) the person asked to provide identification is involved as a participant or as a witness. If there is no reasonable suspicion, a person does not have to provide identification—but courts often find reasonable suspicion as a matter of course.

These statutes are sometimes called stop-and-identify laws or stop and ID laws, and the violation of the statute may be a criminal offense or crime known as “failure to ID.” Stop and ID laws vary from state to state in the states that have such laws. For example, in some states failure to ID cannot be the basis for an arrest (there must be an underlying criminal offense) and in some states the obligation to provide identification only applies to a person who has been arrested.

And in some states it is a criminal offense for a person to provide a false or fictitious name, residence address, or date of birth if the person has been detained by police on the basis of reasonable suspicion or is believed to be a witness to a criminal offense.

The United States Supreme Court has held that the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution may allow suspects to refuse to give their name if they have a reasonable belief their name could be incriminating. Kolender v. Lawson, 461 U.S. 352 (1983).

In Texas, the law regarding providing identification to police officers is outlined in the Texas Penal Code. According to Section 38.02, a person commits an offense if they intentionally refuse to give their name, residence address, or date of birth to a peace officer who has lawfully arrested the person and requested the information. Additionally, providing false or fictitious information is also an offense under this statute. However, if the officer has only detained the person and not arrested them, the individual is not legally required to provide this information unless they are a witness to a criminal offense. It's important to note that the obligation to provide identification does not apply if the officer does not have reasonable suspicion of a crime. Furthermore, under the Fifth Amendment, as interpreted by the Supreme Court in Kolender v. Lawson, individuals may refuse to provide their name if doing so could be self-incriminating. In Texas, 'failure to ID' can be a criminal offense, but the specifics of the situation, such as whether the person has been lawfully arrested or merely detained, will determine the legal requirements and potential consequences.

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