can a cop ask for i.d. without probable cause?

I was at the store meeting a friend and a cop just came up to me for no reason
and asked me for i.d. I ended up having a warrant but he didn’t have a reason for
confronting me in the first place. can he get away with doing that?

Asked on December 26, 2018 under Criminal Law, Utah

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

In your state (Utah), the police can only stop you and ask for your ID if they have a reasonable suspicion you were engaged in some criminal or illegal act. Below is the relevant Utah statute, so you can see the operative language. Therefore, the stop you describe appears to be illegal; you may wish to speak to a criminal defense attorney about whether and how that illegality may help you in light of the warrant.
77-7-15.  Authority of peace officer to stop and question suspect -- Grounds.      A peace officer may stop any person in a public place when the officer has a reasonable suspicion to believe the person has committed or is in the act of committing or is attempting to commit a public offense and may demand the person's name, address, and an explanation of the person's actions.


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