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Author Topic: Traffic Stops and Passenger IDs
Electrotiger
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I did a Google search on this one and didn't turn up much.

What is the word on passengers in a stopped car having to show the officer their ID?

For instance, if a person is stopped for speeding, the officer will often ask the passengers in the car for their IDs.

Do police have a right to do this? Can you choose to not show your ID?

I understand that regulations will most likely vary by state/country.

What I think (an absolute and total guess): Unless the officer has a reason to believe that you have engaged in wrongdoing, they have no probable cause to demand a look at your ID.

This question comes up because recently a friend of a friend, who was a passenger in a car stopped for speeding on the way to a funeral (!), got IDed and turned out to have an outstanding warrant for a parking ticket/tickets, and spent the day in jail.

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BeachLife
The Bills of St. Mary's


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There's absolutely nothing wrong with asking. Just as an officer can ask to search your car. Did your friend, say no? If not, he volunteered and it was his mistake not the police officer's.

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Electrotiger
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Ok, let me clarify:

Does the officer have any right to demand to see your ID? If he/she asks, and you say no, can they take any action against you?

I don't know for sure, but I think the guy in my example felt like he was being told he had to show his ID, or else he'd be in trouble for some reason.

--------------------
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You'd count billions and billions of stars, And billions and billions of planets.

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BeachLife
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Again, the officer can ask. How your friend interpreted it is different. If the office tells the other passengers to show him id, and they comply, it's still a request and voluntary compliance.

Unless the officer threatend is some way either verbally, "show me your license or I will arrest you", or by holding a gun pointed at him, it was still voluntary.

Even in the event of the verbal threat, your friend should have declined.

He can always hire a lawyer, but I don't think it will go anywhere beyond costing some serious cash.

--------------------
Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
Jack Dragon, On Being a Dragon
Confessions of a Dragon's scribe
Diary of my Heart Surgery

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Keeper of the Mad Bunnies
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This does look like a question where the answer will vary based upon jurisdiction. However, let's look at it logically [Wink]

In a routine traffic stop, if the passenger is not involved by the driver or voluntarily speak with the officer, I think the officer's right to ask for identification could be challenged as a violation of privacy. The officer's interaction is with the driver and the passenger is just 'along for the ride'.

However, if the driver involves the passenger (e.g., states the car is owned by the passenger), then the officer has the right to interrogate the passenger and ask for identification. If the passenger involves themselves in the discussion, the officer is probably within their rights to ask for ID. If the stop involves passenger actions (or if the passenger does something after the stop to attract the officer's attention), then ID can be requested.

Of course, in the practical world, one will immediately raise the suspicion of an officer by refusing to give identification when requested. One must decide if the final vindication (if proven right) would be worth the bumpy ride getting there.

Finally, in the current scare atmosphere where everyone is a terrorist, the courts are liable to side with the officer, right or wrong.

James Powell

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BeachLife
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Please don't tell me that a police officer can't interact with the other passengers in the car unless he has probible cause. That's total BS. Again, it was a request.

I've been stopped before, and the officer asked to search my car. I volunteered knowing that I could say no. It wasn't a breach of my rights regarding unlawful search and seisure, nor is anything else someone does voluntarily.

Along the same lines, once you've been arrested, you can talk to the police officers all you want without a lawyer present, but you have the right to insist that a lawyer is present.

--------------------
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Chimera
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I believe you can say no but its easier to comply if you are not in the wrong. I was once stopped and the officer asked to search my car. I didn't have anything to hide but, being me, I said No. Well, I got a lot of other questions about where I was going and such, most of which I answered. The officer slowly made his way around the entire car with a flash light, looking in all the windows. Nothing happened and I was eventually allowed to go on my merry way but he did inspect everything he could see on and in the vehicle. Which was funny because the back (it was a station wagon) was filled with stuff for Rocky Horror (corsets, garters, boas and a collapsed wheel chair). He asked about it. I told him it was personal and I didn't want to discuss it. He didn't press the issue.

I did however have a friend who wasn't in a vehichle that refused to give the officer his driver's license (his excuse, he wasn't driving). He ended up getting arrested and spent a night in jail (he was drinking coffee and watch Xena Warrior Princess the next morning... jails can be really harsh). Anyway knowing the person's personality I believe there is more to the story than he let on. I think if you are polite and respectful you're safe.

--------------------
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What is the use of women?"
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Electrotiger
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Ok, then I guess my real question is this:

Under what circumstances are you required to show your ID to a law enforcement officer?

A few years ago, I was a passenger in a car with my fiance driving, and we got stopped for expired tags. He said, "Can I see both of your licences, please?" I was surprised that he wanted to see mine.

Really what I'm trying to figure out here, is if you're a passenger in a car that's been stopped, can you be required to show your ID to the attending officer?

--------------------
Mr. Sagan did not go too fars, If you just took the time to scan its,
You'd count billions and billions of stars, And billions and billions of planets.

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BeachLife
The Bills of St. Mary's


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The simple answer is no.

--------------------
Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
Jack Dragon, On Being a Dragon
Confessions of a Dragon's scribe
Diary of my Heart Surgery

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timmyt
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You may refuse, but in some (U.S.) states, it may give the police the right to detain you. The U.S. Supreme Court is considering the question.
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Pogue Ma-humbug
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quote:
Originally posted by timmyt:
You may refuse, but in some (U.S.) states, it may give the police the right to detain you. The U.S. Supreme Court is considering the question.

Aye, but that's under the reasonable suspicion rule. The question is whether police can routinely demand ID of a passenger in a traffic stop.

What if the passenger has no ID?

Pogue

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Warlok
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quote:
Originally posted by timmyt:
You may refuse, but in some (U.S.) states, it may give the police the right to detain you. The U.S. Supreme Court is considering the question.

Not quite -- that case is talking about someone already under "suspicion" not the innocent third party passenger. After stopping you for swearving, they can ask the driver for ID etc on the "suspicion" of DUI and ask them question. then they can arrest then depending on circumstnaces, based on probable cause, they can they do a field sobriety test and maybe arrest them... But none of this says the passenger can't sit there quietly and hold onto their ID.

Warlok

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timmyt
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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quote:
Originally posted by Pogue Banana Man:
quote:
Originally posted by timmyt:
You may refuse, but in some (U.S.) states, it may give the police the right to detain you. The U.S. Supreme Court is considering the question.

Aye, but that's under the reasonable suspicion rule. The question is whether police can routinely demand ID of a passenger in a traffic stop.

What if the passenger has no ID?

Pogue

That's what I get for reading too quickly. I do not have a cite, but in law school, it was my (liberal) criminal procedure professor's opinion that at least in the Fifth Circuit (Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi), failure to produce ID upon demand would constitue probable cause for a search (for ID).

I'd be happy to do a westlaw search if I had someone to whom to bill it.

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BeachLife
The Bills of St. Mary's


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quote:
Originally posted by timmyt:
quote:
Originally posted by Pogue Banana Man:
quote:
Originally posted by timmyt:
You may refuse, but in some (U.S.) states, it may give the police the right to detain you. The U.S. Supreme Court is considering the question.

Aye, but that's under the reasonable suspicion rule. The question is whether police can routinely demand ID of a passenger in a traffic stop.

What if the passenger has no ID?

Pogue

That's what I get for reading too quickly. I do not have a cite, but in law school, it was my (liberal) criminal procedure professor's opinion that at least in the Fifth Circuit (Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi), failure to produce ID upon demand would constitue probable cause for a search (for ID).

I'd be happy to do a westlaw search if I had someone to whom to bill it.

That doesn't make any sense. It's tantamount to saying that all citizen must carry identification. Otherwise, what are they in suspician of which would make the search legal?

ETA, ah here it is:
Brown vs Texas

quote:
On appeal, the United States Supreme Court reversed. In an opinion by Burger, Ch. J., expressing the unanimous view of the court, it was held that the defendant's conviction under the Texas law requiring identification upon a lawful police stop was improper, the police officer's stopping the defendant and requiring him to identify himself having violated the Fourth Amendment, since the officer admittedly stopped the defendant solely to ascertain his identity and had no reasonable suspicion to believe that the defendant was engaged or had engaged in criminal conduct.
So there was a law, but it didn't hold up against the fourth amendment without probable cause.

--------------------
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Confessions of a Dragon's scribe
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Dark Blue
The First USA Noel


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In AZ, the passenger is not required to provide ID, unless the officer has probable cause to believe they are in violation of some type of law, for example, not wearing their seatbelt. As Beachlife stated, the officer can still request the ID, but it is just that a request.

ARS 28-1595 Failure to stop or provide driver license or evidence of identity

C. A person other than the driver of a motor vehicle who fails or refuses to provide evidence of the person's identity to a peace officer or a duly authorized agent of a traffic enforcement agency on request, when such officer or agent has reasonable cause to believe the person has committed a violation of this title, is guilty of a class 2 misdemeanor.

--------------------
I'm a sheepdog. I live to protect the flock and confront the wolf. -- On Sheep, Wolves and Sheepdogs by LTC. Dave Grossman, USA (Ret)

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Strawberries 'n Sugar
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My friends and I were once pulled over because the driver made a bad turn. It was about 11:15 on a Tuesday night during the summer, but I guess we were out past curfew. The officer asked to see all of our IDs and ended up giving tickets to all of us for being out past curfew. Apparently cops can't pull you over for just "looking underage" so they usually make up some dumb reason to pull people over. My question is: did he have "probable cause" to ask for everyone else's ID, or does it fall along the same lines as not being able to pull someone over because they look younger?

Strawberries "NFBSKing cops..." 'n Sugar

P.S. The part that really bothers me about what happened is that, like I said, he pulled us over at 11:15. Then, he preceded to take us one by one into his car and question us. By the time he reached me and my friend (we went together, probably due to the fact that I was the only girl) in the backseat and he called our parents (GRRR), it was 12:30. That made me so angry, because it looked so much worse than it actually was.

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Vivling
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quote:
Under what circumstances are you required to show your ID to a law enforcement officer?

In B.C., under the graduated-licensing program, someone with a "learner's" or "novice" license has restrictions on how many non-family passengers they can carry in their car. If a novice driver with three passengers was pulled over, all passengers are required by law to hand over identification to the officer proving that at least two of them are related to the driver.

(from the ICBC website):

quote:
Immediate family members: Mother, father, sister, brother, child, spouse, grandparent; including step and foster relationships. “Immediate family member” does not mean aunt, uncle, cousin, or other relative.


lil "phew ... got my lisence just in time to miss all of that" orphan

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pinqy
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quote:
Originally posted by BeachLife:
ETA, ah here it is:
Brown vs Texas

quote:
On appeal, the United States Supreme Court reversed. In an opinion by Burger, Ch. J., expressing the unanimous view of the court, it was held that the defendant's conviction under the Texas law requiring identification upon a lawful police stop was improper, the police officer's stopping the defendant and requiring him to identify himself having violated the Fourth Amendment, since the officer admittedly stopped the defendant solely to ascertain his identity and had no reasonable suspicion to believe that the defendant was engaged or had engaged in criminal conduct.
So there was a law, but it didn't hold up against the fourth amendment without probable cause.
Read it again, Beach. The law requiring ID was not questioned...the stop was improper. The law can require you to show ID, but there has to be a reason for the cop to want to see your ID. In that case, the cop had no reason, so the stop and the request were in violation of the 4th ammendment. If the cop had a real suspicion of illegal activity, the charge would have stood.

pinqy

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Keeper of the Mad Bunnies
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quote:
Originally posted by Strawberries'n Sugar *w/ potassium*:
My friends and I were once pulled over because the driver made a bad turn. It was about 11:15 on a Tuesday night during the summer, but I guess we were out past curfew. The officer asked to see all of our IDs and ended up giving tickets to all of us for being out past curfew. Apparently cops can't pull you over for just "looking underage" so they usually make up some dumb reason to pull people over. My question is: did he have "probable cause" to ask for everyone else's ID, or does it fall along the same lines as not being able to pull someone over because they look younger?

Strawberries "NFBSKing cops..." 'n Sugar

Yes. The 'crime' was curfew violation. The 'suspicion' is that you looked young enough to be in violation. That is probable cause. The identification would prove whether you were in violation or not.

By the same argument, an officer can ask for identification of someone in possession of an alcoholic beverage to prove they are old enough to possess it.

It may be a bad law, but that doesn't make it illegal to enforce.

James Powell

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Keeper of the Mad Bunnies
Jingle Bell Hock


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quote:
Originally posted by BeachLife:
Please don't tell me that a police officer can't interact with the other passengers in the car unless he has probible cause. That's total BS. Again, it was a request.

I did not say the officer could not make the request or interact. I said the passenger has no requirement to meet the officer's request or produce identification. Nor can the officer demand such identification without probable cause. Of course, a passenger's intereaction with an officer can lead to probable cause.

James Powell

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Electrotiger
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I'm not a rabble-rouser or anything, but I absolutely hate it when people assume things.

Like if a law-envoforcement officer assumes that you'll immediately fork over your ID even if you're just a passenger in the car, just because they ask.

(I'm not a police-hater either, my dad was a highway patrolman.)

So here's a question then: If an officer asks to see your ID if you're a passenger, and you don't feel you should have to (or don't have ID, or whatever), what's a good way to respond?

--------------------
Mr. Sagan did not go too fars, If you just took the time to scan its,
You'd count billions and billions of stars, And billions and billions of planets.

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Dark Blue
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quote:
My question is: did he have "probable cause" to ask for everyone else's ID, or does it fall along the same lines as not being able to pull someone over because they look younger?
Your friend was pulled over for a "bad turn". After contacting you all, the officer probably realized you might be under age for the curfew, and began a new investigation regarding this violation. He now had reason to verify your age, and identification, and an ID is the easiest way to do so.

quote:
they usually make up some dumb reason to pull people over
Yes I like when an officer enforces a law that they didn't even have anything to do with being written, but hey it was just a dumb reason to pull someone over.

quote:
Strawberries "NFBSKing cops..." 'n Sugar
Its nice to know we are appreciated, thanks.

DB

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Dark Blue
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quote:
If an officer asks to see your ID if you're a passenger, and you don't feel you should have to (or don't have ID, or whatever), what's a good way to respond?
Be respectful and truthful would be my advice

Sir, I don't have an ID with me.

"May I see your ID please."--- "Sir, I would rather not."

etc.

--------------------
I'm a sheepdog. I live to protect the flock and confront the wolf. -- On Sheep, Wolves and Sheepdogs by LTC. Dave Grossman, USA (Ret)

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reflex
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quote:
Originally posted by Dark Blue:
quote:
My question is: did he have "probable cause" to ask for everyone else's ID, or does it fall along the same lines as not being able to pull someone over because they look younger?
Your friend was pulled over for a "bad turn". After contacting you all, the officer probably realized you might be under age for the curfew, and began a new investigation regarding this violation. He now had reason to verify your age, and identification, and an ID is the easiest way to do so.

quote:
they usually make up some dumb reason to pull people over
Yes I like when an officer enforces a law that they didn't even have anything to do with being written, but hey it was just a dumb reason to pull someone over.

According to the ACLU,
quote:
You don't have to answer a police officer's questions, but you must show your driver's license and registration when stopped in a car. In other situations, you can't legally be arrested for refusing to identify yourself to a police officer.
ACLU Bust Card

It's kind of vague in that it doesn't mention whether passengers have to show identification. I would assume that unless you're in control of the vehicle (much like the drunk driver reasoning), you don't have to show id.

This may open up another can of worms, but I believe curfews are unconstitutional. Unless the curfew refers directly to a stipulation on a youth drivers license that states that a limited amount of people can be in a vehicle or the person cannot drive past a certain time, police cannot enforce a curfew. Even if a person is below the age of 18, the constitution still applies to them.

It seems, though, that the Supreme Court is unwilling to rule on curfews...
quote:
Last year, the Supreme Court rejected a challenge to a Charlottesville, Va., curfew, which is similar to those adopted by many U.S. cities. While the justices did not issue a decision, they let stand a lower court ruling that said the city's curfew is a valid means of "reducing juvenile violence and crime."
Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Therefore, youths need to rely on the rulings of the lower courts to find whether a curfew is allowed or prohibited in their area.

--------------------
The opinions expressed herein do not represent those of any rational human being and are solely for the purpose of entertainment.

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Dark Blue
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quote:
In other situations, you can't legally be arrested for refusing to identify yourself to a police officer.
True, but you can be arrested for a criminal violation, and if so, you probably arn't going to be released until your identity is proven. Example: Man is driving and is pulled over for speeding. When the officer contacts him he notices a baggie of dope in plain view sitting on the dashboard. He asks the driver about it, but he doesn't answer the questions. He is asked for ID, but doesn't have any, and refuses to tell the officer who he is. He is arrested for possesion, and is booked as a John Doe, until they can verify who he really is.

Maybe its because I've been awake for too many hours, but I'm not sure what your arguemnt is against curfews. I don't understand what you mean about stipulation on driver licenses and so forth. I also don't understand why you think it is unconstitutional. Just don't understand your arguemnts, perhaps some sleep will help, which I will be doing now.

--------------------
I'm a sheepdog. I live to protect the flock and confront the wolf. -- On Sheep, Wolves and Sheepdogs by LTC. Dave Grossman, USA (Ret)

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Severus
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As my understanding, if an officer asks you for your identification and you refuse you can be arrested for failure to identify. I know this for fact, as I was arrested, as a passenger, for not forking my ID over to the redneck, narrow minded, I.Q. of a snail, deputy of a small bohunk town, when he asked me for it. [flame] I was released an hour later, free of charge, as they had nothing to hold me on.

The reason we were stopped? My brother has high intensity lights on his car and they "look" purplish, blue from a distance, and the cop said the lights were in violation, they are standard equipment on Lincolns. And no ticket was given, go figure.

So yes, you can be arrested for not forking over your ID even if you are walking down the street in front of your house on a sunny day and no problems have been called in, the officer just has to say he was acting on the suspiction (sp?) of anything.

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BeachLife
The Bills of St. Mary's


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quote:
Originally posted by Severus:
As my understanding, if an officer asks you for your identification and you refuse you can be arrested for failure to identify. I know this for fact, as I was arrested, as a passenger, for not forking my ID over to the redneck, narrow minded, I.Q. of a snail, deputy of a small bohunk town, when he asked me for it. [flame] I was released an hour later, free of charge, as they had nothing to hold me on.

The reason we were stopped? My brother has high intensity lights on his car and they "look" purplish, blue from a distance, and the cop said the lights were in violation, they are standard equipment on Lincolns. And no ticket was given, go figure.

So yes, you can be arrested for not forking over your ID even if you are walking down the street in front of your house on a sunny day and no problems have been called in, the officer just has to say he was acting on the suspiction (sp?) of anything.

But that doesn't mean it was a legal arrest. You can be arrested for looking cross eyed at a police officer.

But you can not legally be arrested for looking cross eyed at a police officer or simply refusing to show id.

--------------------
Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
Jack Dragon, On Being a Dragon
Confessions of a Dragon's scribe
Diary of my Heart Surgery

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Shamrock
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


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quote:
Originally posted by Dark Blue:
Its nice to know we are appreciated, thanks.

DB

You can be sure they are going to be first to complain if your response time is more than 30 seconds to their emergency.

--------------------
Of all the things I've lost,
I miss my mind the most.

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Pogue Ma-humbug
Happy Christmas (Malls are Open)


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quote:
Originally posted by Dark Blue:
In AZ, the passenger is not required to provide ID, unless the officer has probable cause to believe they are in violation of some type of law, for example, not wearing their seatbelt. As Beachlife stated, the officer can still request the ID, but it is just that a request.

ARS 28-1595 Failure to stop or provide driver license or evidence of identity

C. A person other than the driver of a motor vehicle who fails or refuses to provide evidence of the person's identity to a peace officer or a duly authorized agent of a traffic enforcement agency on request, when such officer or agent has reasonable cause to believe the person has committed a violation of this title, is guilty of a class 2 misdemeanor.

But this sounds like a roundabout law. I suspect you're in violation of not identifying yourself, and when I ask you to identify yourself (because I reasoanble suspect you are breaking this law), and you refuse, well then, you broke the law.

Or am I reading it wrong?

Pogue

--------------------
Let's drink to the causes in your life:
Your family, your friends, the union, your wife.

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Warlok
Little Sales Drummer Boy


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Pogue - I think you are reading it wrong -- they still have to have PC that the passenger ALSO did something wrong... not just the original reason for the traffic stop (PC for the driver)-- which is why this section re-states the need for PC.

Warlok

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Inconceivable

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AnglsWeHvHrdOnHiRdr
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Actually, I think Pogue is right.

quote:
ARS 28-1595 Failure to stop or provide driver license or evidence of identity

C. A person other than the driver of a motor vehicle who fails or refuses to provide evidence of the person's identity to a peace officer or a duly authorized agent of a traffic enforcement agency on request, when such officer or agent has reasonable cause to believe the person has committed a violation of this title, is guilty of a class 2 misdemeanor.

So, if the officer has probable cause to believe you're not going to provide evidence of your identity, you are guilty if you don't provide evidence of your identity.

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"When a stupid man is doing something he is ashamed of, he always declares that it is his duty."--George Bernard Shaw

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Dark Blue
The First USA Noel


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quote:
So, if the officer has probable cause to believe you're not going to provide evidence of your identity, you are guilty if you don't provide evidence of your identity.
Just to clarify, when it says title, it means the 28 Title, which is all traffic violations. I had never read it before the way you all did, but first off I don't think it would fly if I tried to send that to my prosecutor. Secondly, I think it would be reasonably difficult to have probable cause to believe someone is going to refuse to provide ID, before asking for it. Unless you walk up and the first thing the passenger says is "NFBSK you, I'm not showing you my id!" The law is meant to mean, if the passenger has violated a Title 28 Traffic code, such as not wearing a seatbelt, throwing litter from a vehicle, etc.

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I'm a sheepdog. I live to protect the flock and confront the wolf. -- On Sheep, Wolves and Sheepdogs by LTC. Dave Grossman, USA (Ret)

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BeachLife
The Bills of St. Mary's


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But then we have to look at court cases to see if this held up, and it apparently didn't:
State of Arizona -vs- Nathan Richard Akins:

quote:
The State appeals the trial court’s order suppressing all contraband seized from Nathan Richard Akins incident to his arrest for failure to produce evidence of his identity pursuant to Arizona Revised Statutes (“A.R.S.”) § 28-1595(C) (1998). The trial court found § 28-1595(C) unconstitutionally vague for failing to give notice to passengers in motor vehicles of the type of identification that must be produced under the statute. We agree and affirm the trial court’s ruling suppressing all contraband seized from Akins.
Another interesting point:

quote:
A separate statute, § 28-1595(C), makes it a misdemeanor for a person to fail to provide “evidence of the person’s identity” to a police officer if the officer has reasonable cause to believe the person has violated a requirement of Title 28 of the Arizona Revised Statutes.
That's indicates that any violation of Title 28 (which is a lot of legistaltion) is cause under 1595(c). This makes the law less recursive.

--------------------
Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
Jack Dragon, On Being a Dragon
Confessions of a Dragon's scribe
Diary of my Heart Surgery

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j38u5
The Red and the Green Stamps


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"Probable Cause" in todays world can mean anything. With all the terrorism threats going on a cop can pretty much make up anything he wants to, and any court will probably back him. Besides, it's what they do, there great at it, and any cop can make it hard for you to know where volunteering ends and manditory begins.
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BeachLife
The Bills of St. Mary's


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quote:
Originally posted by j38u5:
"Probable Cause" in todays world can mean anything. With all the terrorism threats going on a cop can pretty much make up anything he wants to, and any court will probably back him. Besides, it's what they do, there great at it, and any cop can make it hard for you to know where volunteering ends and manditory begins.

You left out the black helicopters and the vast right ring conspiracy parts. And then there is area 51.

--------------------
Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
Jack Dragon, On Being a Dragon
Confessions of a Dragon's scribe
Diary of my Heart Surgery

Posts: 12094 | From: Michigan | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
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