Under 46-5-401 (2)(a) Montana Code compels you toanswers question posed to you by LE underthreat of arrest. In practice thisstatute could actually force you to answer questions until the LEO hasenough information to arrestyou forother charges. Clearly, the 5th Amendment protects one from self incrimination, which directly conflicts with the language contained in this statute. Personally, I'llrefuse to answer any question posed to me a LEO other than my name.
Montana's Investigative Stop and Frisk law isn't clear to me. I don't see where it criminalizes refusing to answer. Where is the threat of arrest?
They need probable cause to arrest you.
This lawallows a cop to stop youif they haveRAS - what Montana calls "a particularized suspicion."
It mandates that the cop inform you of the RAS "as promptly as possible
." And it authorizes the cop to ask you your "name and present address and an explanation of
If stopped, you should ALWAYS request a statement of resonable suspicion, and ALWAYS record it.
This can be done various ways. For example, I would simply dial my voice mail number on my cell phone, hand my phone to the cop, and ask him to make a statement of reasonable suspicion "FOR THE LEGAL RECORD."
I recommend doing the cell phone thing even if using another pocket recorder.
If they refuse to speak into your phone, inform that since they haven't articulated any reasonable suspicion fora detention, you must be free to go. ABSOLUTELY REFUSE TO ANSWER ANY QUESTIONS, including your name, UNTIL YOU HAVE A RECORDED STATEMENT OF RAS.
You may have to point out that M.C.A. 46-5-401 requires the cop to inform you of their "particularized suspicion"
"as promptly as possible
I personally would give the cop my name (shortened first name and last name, but no middle name to prevent a background check) and a brief explanation.
BE CERTAIN TO RECORD YOUR OWN STATEMENTS AS WELL- again simply talk into your own cell phone when speaking to the cop. This technique has a distinct advantage over a pocket recorder as the recording cannot be confiscated.