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Thread: Local Stop and ID ordinances

  1. #1
    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    Does anyone know of any county or city in Virginia that has definitely implemented a local Stop and ID law?

    I looked through Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania's code, but couldn't find anything. Perhaps knowing how one is worded would help.

    Eventually, it would be nice to compile a list.

    http://www.municode.com/Resources/co...asp?stateID=46

    TFred


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    I did see one that someone posted once, but it only required verbal ID and not pictured ID.
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    Campaign Veteran Nelson_Muntz's Avatar
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    Norfolk and Alexandria? Those come to mind from reading on here.

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    Regular Member streetdoc's Avatar
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    I was trying to find an answer to this question through some of the files that I have kept around and found this but I cant find the reference for it. I'll keep looking for the reference and post it when I find it.
    ****************************

    When do I have to show ID?
    This is a tricky issue. As a general principle, citizens who are minding their own business are not obligated to "show their papers" to police. In fact, there is no law requiring citizens to carry identification of any kind.
    Nonetheless, carrying an ID is required when you’re driving or flying. Driving without a license is a crime, and no one is allowed to board an airplane without first presenting an ID. These requirements have been upheld on the premise that individuals who prefer not to carry ID can choose not to drive or fly.
    From here, ID laws only get more complicated. In Hiibel v. Sixth Judicial District Court of Nevada, the Supreme Court upheld state laws requiring citizens to disclose their identity to police when officers have reasonable suspicion to believe criminal activity may be taking place. Commonly known as 'stop and identify' statutes, these laws permit police to arrest criminal suspects who refuse to identify themselves.
    Currently the following states have stop and identify laws: AL, AR, CO, DE, FL, GA, IL, KS, LA, MO, MT, NE, NH, NM, NV, NY, ND, RI, UT, VT, WI
    Regardless of your state's law, keep in mind that police can never compel you to identify yourself without reasonable suspicion to believe you're involved in criminal activity. Rather than asking the officer if he/she has reasonable suspicion, test it yourself by asking if you're free to go.
    If the officer says you’re free to go, leave immediately and refrain from answering any additional questions.
    If the officer detains you, you'll have to decide whether withholding your identity is worth the possibility of arrest or a prolonged detention. In cases of mistaken identity, revealing who you are might help to resolve the situation quickly. On the other hand, if you're on parole in California, for example, revealing your identity could lead to a legal search. Knowing your state's laws can help you make the best choice.
    Keep in mind that the officer's decision to detain you will not always hold up in court. ‘Reasonable suspicion' is a vague evidentiary standard, which lends itself to mistakes on the officer's part. If you're searched or arrested following an officer's ID request, always contact an attorney to discuss the incident and explore your legal options.

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    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    Ah thanks for that summary streetdoc. I should have explained a little bit more the reason for my question. As we've discussed here before, Virgina does not have a "Stop and ID" law on the books at the State level, but there are apparently a few local jurisdictions which do, so one cannot just assume that refusing to provide your name is free of legal consequences. That's why I'm hoping to eventually compile at least a partial list of local jurisdictions which have such laws on their books.

    One interesting question, I happened to notice that some jurisdictions have a local ordinance based on the Code of Virginia Section 18.2-463, which is:

    § 18.2-463. Refusal to aid officer in execution of his office.

    If any person on being required by any sheriff or other officer refuse or neglect to assist him: (1) in the execution of his office in a criminal case, (2) in the preservation of the peace, (3) in the apprehending or securing of any person for a breach of the peace, or (4) in any case of escape or rescue, he shall be guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor.
    I wonder if any case has ever been argued that providing ID is a form of "assisting" a LEO in their effort to perform their duties?

    TFred

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    Campaign Veteran Nelson_Muntz's Avatar
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    According to Chapter 17, Section 13(c) of the Arlington County Code (”Peace and good order; loitering”): “It shall be unlawful for any person at a public place or place open to the public to refuse to identify himself by name and address at the request of a uniformed police officer or of a properly identified police officer not in uniform, if the surrounding circumstances are such as to indicate to a reasonable man that the public safety requires such identification.” Failure to identify is considered a misdemeanor.

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    Regular Member streetdoc's Avatar
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    Check out this AG Opinion.

    In VA Attorney General Opinion 02-082;
    http://www.vaag.com/Opinions/2002opns/oct02ndx.htm
    in part presents;

    Law-enforcement officer conducting lawful stop to investigate alleged criminal activity may not arrest for obstruction of justice suspect who refuses to identify himself to officer. Depending on circumstances, suspect may be detained for purpose of determining his identity.

    You ask whether a law-enforcement officer, who is engaged in a valid investigative stop of the kind permitted by Terry v. Ohio,1 may arrest a person for obstruction of justice under § 18.2-460(A), when such person refuses to provide information concerning his identity to the officer.

    Section 18.2-460(A) provides:
    If any person without just cause knowingly obstructs a … law-enforcement officer in the performance of his duties as such or fails or refuses without just cause to cease such obstruction when requested to do so by such … law-enforcement officer, he shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

    In interpreting a former statute involving the obstruction of an officer performing his duty, the Supreme Court of Virginia has distinguished that which constitutes "obstruction":
    [T]here is a broad distinction between avoidance and resistance or obstruction.… "To constitute obstruction of an officer in the performance of his duty, it is not necessary that there be an actual or technical assault upon the officer, but there must be acts clearly indicating an intention on the part of the accused to prevent the officer from performing his duty, as to ‘obstruct’ ordinarily implies opposition or resistance by direct action.… It means to obstruct the officer himself not merely to oppose or impede the process with which the officer is armed."

    The Court of Appeals of Virginia has held that "obstruction of justice does not occur when a person fails to cooperate fully with an officer or when the person’s conduct merely renders the officer’s task more difficult but does not impede or prevent the officer from performing that task."4 In applying § 18.2-460(A), the Court has also determined that providing inconsistent information, even if the information has the effect of frustrating the investigation, is not sufficient to warrant a conviction for obstructing justice.5 Similarly, the Court has held that providing false information is not grounds for a conviction for obstruction of justice.6

    Accordingly, it is my opinion, under the specific facts you have presented, that a law-enforcement officer conducting a lawful investigative stop may not arrest a
    suspect for obstruction of justice under § 18.2-460(A), when the suspect refuses to identify himself to the officer. Depending on the circumstances, however, there may be justification to detain a suspect for the purpose of determining his identity.

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    Regular Member wylde007's Avatar
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    Nelson_Muntz wrote:
    [snip] if the surrounding circumstances are such as to indicate to a reasonable man that the public safety requires such identification.
    That's not subjective at all!

    Laws written that way are deliberately analogous. Who's to say what a reasonable man might consider necessary.

    I MIGHT consider offering my identification to an officer if I was willing to act as a witness to a crime. Otherwise they cannot, as I consider myself a reasonable man, coerce me into doing something I otherwise would not.
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    Regular Member streetdoc's Avatar
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    There is a big difference between identifying yourself by saying who you are (may be required) and producing an actual ID Card, not required unless you are doing something that the state mandates ID such as driving a car or carrying a concealed hand gun, etc.
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    Campaign Veteran Nelson_Muntz's Avatar
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    wylde007 wrote:
    Nelson_Muntz wrote:
    [snip] if the surrounding circumstances are such as to indicate to a reasonable man that the public safety requires such identification.
    Who's to say what a reasonable man might consider necessary.
    That's why you should ask if you are being detained. If not, you are free to go. If you are, supposedly the officer has RAS to detain you. In that case it would indicate to a reasonable man that public safety requires such identification.

    In any case, the officer will probably not discuss his RAS with you. You can challenge it in court, but not on the street. Without RAS, the case is tossed. With RAS, the court will find the 'reasonable man blah blah blah' in effect.

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    Regular Member riverrat10k's Avatar
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    TFred wrote:
    § 18.2-463. Refusal to aid officer in execution of his office.

    If any person on being required by any sheriff or other officer refuse or neglect to assist him:............. (3) in the apprehending or securing of any person for a breach of the peace, or (4) in any case of escape or rescue, he shall be guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor.
    I wonder if any case has ever been argued that providing ID is a form of "assisting" a LEO in their effort to perform their duties?

    TFred
    #3 is veerrry inteeereeesting legally. Think about it.
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