California does not have any laws that require individuals to show ID to police in any instance. Lacking any “Stop and Identify” or “Papers Please” laws, cops are unable to legally penalize you for politely refusing to furnish ID in most circumstances. However, if you are pulled over or are arrested, you will need to provide the officer with ID or face additional penalties.
If you have been pulled over for a DUI and failed to show ID, your refusal may be used against you in court. Your best bet against these sorts of charges is getting representation from a skilled DUI lawyer. To schedule your initial consultation with a knowledgeable DUI lawyer, call us today at (310) 862-0199.
You Can Decide if You Will Provide ID When Asked During Some Stops
In many interactions with the police, they may request to see your ID card. While this may be an innocuous question, you are entitled under California law to politely refuse the request. If you wish to exercise your right not to show your ID, you can simply say “I do not wish to provide my ID at this time.” You are also allowed to ask if you are free to leave and for clarification about the reason for the stop if the officer refuses to let you go.
You are, however, free to provide your ID to the officer if you would like to do so. In some cases, it may expedite your interaction with the officer. If they are looking for someone in particular or you need an easy way to show that you belong at a certain location, showing the officer your ID may be sufficient to clear up any confusion.
Police Officers May Still Arrest You
Failing to provide an officer with your ID is not a surefire way to avoid being arrested. If an officer suspects that you have committed a crime, at least to level of probable cause, your refusal to present an ID when asked will not stop the arrest.
In addition, officers will sometimes mistakenly arrest people for failing to show ID when asked to do so. While this arrest, usually filed as resisting a peace officer, can be dismissed in many cases, it may be something you wish to avoid by providing your ID.
You Must Provide ID When Your Vehicle Has Been Stopped
While an officer who stops you outside of a vehicle does not have the right to see your ID, you are required to show identification when asked after being pulled over. If you are being stopped under suspicion of DUI, the officer may consider the refusal as further suspicion of drunk driving. In addition, you can face a misdemeanor charge for refusing to provide your ID on top of any other charges you may face from the stop.
Passengers Do Not Automatically Have to Provide ID
If you are a passenger in a vehicle that has been stopped by the police, you typically do not have to agree to show your ID if asked. Simply being a passenger in a car that has been pulled over is not enough justification for an officer in California to get your ID. They may ask for it, and you have the option to decide on your own if you wish to provide it.
You Must Also Show ID to Police if You’ve Been Arrested
If you politely declined to show your ID, but the police have arrested you, you are required to provide any such identification. Much like refusing to provide ID when pulled over, failing to provide an ID after being arrested can result in additional misdemeanor charges being filed against you.
Understand Your Rights Ahead of Time
In California, you have broad rights when it comes to your interaction with the police. If you know your rights, you can affirmatively assert them if you are ever stopped by an officer. This can reduce your stress when interacting with the police and could even prevent you from unintentionally incriminating yourself.
If you feel that the police have violated your rights, you should know that any evidence gathered as a result of that violation may be suppressed. Evidence gained improperly should not be used against you at any criminal trial.
Getting evidence suppressed can be difficult though, particularly if you’re facing a DUI charge. Call (310) 862-0199 to schedule a free consultation with a DUI lawyer, who can help you understand if the police illegally requested that you show your ID during a stop where you were suspected of driving under the influence.