Many people wonder if they are required to identify themselves to the police if asked, and the answer . . . is complicated. The Supreme Court has found that a state’s statutes can require a subject who is being questioned to provide his or her name in the course of a stop – as long as that stop was based on reasonable suspicion of a crime having been committed. These statutes are known as stop and identify statutes, and the State of North Dakota has one. In other words, if you are stopped by the police under reasonable suspicion of having committed a crime in North Dakota, you must identify yourself if asked to do so – or you could go to jail.
We rely upon the police to help keep the peace, to protect our safety, and to treat us all fairly and equally. The police have a job to do, but most of us don’t understand our rights in relation to being stopped by the police. These rights include:
It’s important to note that you have certain constitutional rights regardless of your immigration status. If you believe your rights were violated when you were stopped by the police, jot down the details and discuss them with an experienced Fargo criminal defense attorney.
In addition to these rights, you have important responsibilities, including:
In North Dakota, a police officer is allowed to stop anyone in a public place whom he or she reasonably suspects is committing a crime, has committed a crime, or is about to commit a crime. Such crimes can be any felony, a concealed or dangerous weapon misdemeanor, a burglary or unlawful entry, or a violation involving illegal drugs. During the course of this stop, if the officer asks you to identify yourself, you are required to do so.
If the police stop you under reasonable suspicion of having been involved in a crime, there are certain things that you can do to help keep the situation as nonthreatening as possible.
It’s a lot, but understanding your rights and responsibilities as they relate to being stopped by the police can help make the experience less harrowing.
In North Dakota, you are required to identify yourself if asked to do so when stopped by the police. If this leads to you being charged with a crime, attorney Tatum O’Brien at O’Keeffe O’Brien Lyson Foss in Fargo has the experience to help you. For more information, please email Tatum O’Brien or give us a call at 701-235-8000 or 877-235-8002 (toll-free) today.