Originally posted by CryHavoc
Someone who yells Fire! in a crowded room when there is no fire is usually charged with either 'inciting to riot', 'reckless endangerment', or
'creating a public panic'. It just amazes me when I encounter people who can't tell the difference between 'Free Speech' and inflammatory speech.
'Free speech' does not mean you can just say anything.
We have that distinction out of the way then. That is why I asked the initial question.
Originally posted by ownbestenemy
In Hiibel v. Sixth Judicial District Court of Nevada, the Supreme Court upheld state laws requiring citizens to reveal their identity when officers
have reasonable suspicion to believe criminal activity may be taking place.
Hiibel was arrested after the officers established 4th Amendment statutes of reasonable suspicion and probable cause. At that point, Hiibel's
arguments were moot. Hiibel was behind the ball from the beginning when the police were able to establish probable cause for the initial stop and
suspicion; otherwise this case would have swung the other way. To highlight the opposite, see Brown v. Texas.
Point being (and why I said in my reply earlier to you: depends) is the police cannot arbitrarily ask you for an ID. If you are on a mid-summer's
stroll through the park and the police ask you for an ID, you are just in every Right to ask why and say no until they can either foster up some
magical suspicion or let you on your way.
Hiibel was arrested after not producing ID.
His refusal to identify himself solidified the original suspicion and gave cause for the officer to arrest him; it wasn't arbitrary. Also the basis
of the case has multitudes of reason for arrest: suspicion of driving an automobile without a license, possible DUI, etc, etc. Find me a case where
someone walking down "Main Street" refuses an officer's demands for an ID, with no probable cause or a reasonable suspicion. Stevens in his
dissent, points this very fact out.
In case you are wondering Hiibel was charged not with "failure to produce an ID" but rather "willfully resist[ing], delay[ing], or obstruct[ing] a
public officer in discharging or attempting to discharge any legal duty of his office" Big difference.
In his dissent, Stevens highlights that the "stop-and-identify" statute that Nevada has is "..directed not at the public at large, but rather at a
highly selective group inherently suspect of criminal activities."
This case highlights the narrow application (as it should be) from Court to Court. Hiibel says it is okay, so long as probable cause is established in
the initial suspicion (i.e, a store is robbed and the police seek to identify patrons leaving the store at that moment; that is reasonable). But in
Terry, they state that "...the officer may ask the detainee a moderate number of questions to determine his identity and to try to obtain information
confirming or dispelling the office's suspicions. But the detainee is not obliged to respond." In other words, refusal to identify yourself is by
no means grounds of arrest.
Furthermore, looking at Nevada' statute, it only is a means of identifying yourself, not producing an ID.
The officer may detain the person pursuant to this section only to ascertain his identity and the suspicious circumstances surrounding his
presence abroad. Any person so detained shall identify himself, but may not be compelled to answer any other inquiry of any peace officer.”
All the case-law in the States that relate to "stop-and-identify" all rely upon reasonable suspicion to justify the initial stop (a Terry stop) and
not just arbitrary officers randomly asking you for your ID. So no, you are not required to carry and/or be compelled to identify yourself to an
officer of the law, in the general.