Can the police arrest someone for refusing to show their ID?

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Can the police arrest someone for refusing to show their ID?

A group of teens were at a bonfire and police stopped to question if any of them had been in a neighbor’s yard. They requested to see everyone’s ID and one person was arrested for refusing to show their ID. The officer called it obstruction of legal process.

Asked on July 25, 2012 under Criminal Law, Minnesota

Answers:

Kevin Bessant / Law Office of Kevin Bessant & Associates

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Refusing to identify yourself and provide proper identification to the police is a criminal offense in most states. The reason is that it obstructs an officer's ability to complete a valid investigation of a situation. These citations are normally reduced to a civil infraction and not a criminal misdemeanor in court.


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