Do I have to show my ID if I’m just walking down the street and not doing anything?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Do I have to show my ID if I’m just walking down the street and not doing anything?

Everytime I walk somewhere late at night I have a backpack to carry things that I purchase from the store. I’m tired of getting stopped and showing my ID so they can run a check to see if I have any warrants. I’m just wondering if this is legal or not?

Asked on July 17, 2012 under Criminal Law, Texas

Answers:

Kevin Bessant / Law Office of Kevin Bessant & Associates

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

By law, if officers request to see your identification, you are legally obligated to provide this information to them. In fact, if you refuse to provide your identification to the police, you can actually be arrested. With this being said, the police are not supposed to perform arbitrary and capricious stops of persons. It appears that their stopping you and requesting an i.d. from you is a pretextual stop to simply see if you have warrants in attempt to arrest you. My advice is to 1) keep a clean record with no warrants to avoid an arrest 2) file a complaint with either the police department or you cities law department (ombudsman) detailing the frequency and nature of these stops. This may send a message to those officers to stop with these pointless identification stops.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption