Anonymous asked in Politics & GovernmentLaw Enforcement & Police · 8 years ago

Are you required to show I.D. to police in California?

Technically, yes, I'm underage. I was out past curfew walking around to burn off energy because I was in a bad mood, and someone apparently called the police—however I wasn't aware walking was considered a crime.

Here's the thing: I know for a fact that you're not required to present I.D. to police in California unless I'm under suspicion of a crime. I wasn't under suspicion of a crime per se, and although I was out past curfew, they don't know my age. And I'm not required to show I.D., so unless I'm actually breaking laws, I don't believe they had a right to detain me. Beyond that however, the officer insisted that I was required to show I.D. to police when requested, because "when you signed that paper to get your I.D., you agreed to it". Here's the thing though... him doing that was slightly manipulative. I understand that it's within his right to lie to obtain consent/identification/etc. (Frazier v. Cupp, 394 U.S. 731, 739 (1969) I believe), but I don't think it's within his right to handcuff me then check my I.D. anyway. I'm very upset about this, and although I was breaking curfew, I wasn't breaking any serious laws.

I'm 17. I know that I only have to show I.D. when I'm driving a motor vehicle or when I'm being lawfully detained. So if possible, may I have the legal section and article according to the California code? I can't seem to find it anywhere and I've been searching. I need reinforcement, so I can print proof of this law.

Any help would be awesome! Thanks.


Blake, here's the situation: I called the police department shortly after and asked for all information relevant. They said they received two calls (possibly from the same person). I was not walking near any houses, I was walking near a busy intersection in my town. There was no reasonable suspicion of a crime that had been committed, and I asked the sergeant that until he answered me the correct answer. He simply said that a couple of people called and said I was "loitering" at the intersection. Thing is, there were no loitering signs and beyond that, it's public property. I was breaking no laws beyond curfew laws. There wasn't any real reasonable suspicion. They have the right to detain me if there's reasonable suspicion of a crime that had been committed, and I argued that to him. I had asked the sergeant plenty a time if there were any calls of me supposedly attempting to break into a business or break into a car—he said no. So where's the reasonable

10 Answers

  • John S
    Lv 7
    8 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Alan is correct. Although the Hiible case said that at law requiring a person who is lawfully detained to identify himself would be constitutional, California has no such law. The officer was simply flat-out wrong in claiming that you signed anything which requires you to show ID to the police upon demand. Of course, you have to carry your driver's license when driving, but that is a different issue. In general you do not have to provide ID, even if lawfully detained. (If the police have grounds to believe an adult has committed a crime, a refusal to provide identification could result in an arrest for the suspected crime, rather than a citation.)

    Note, however, that being out past curfew is a crime, and is usually a misdemeanor offense. The laws permitting a juvenile to be taken into custody are broader than those applicable to adults. So although he was being a bit of a putz under your statement of facts, it does not appear that he necessarily did anything illegal.

    Source(s): 35+ years as a criminal defense attorney
  • 4 years ago


    Source(s): Criminal Records Search Database :
  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    The previous page is WRONG on most answers... Here's the LAW. You are not required to show ID or ID yourself if asked by a police officer unless they suspect you of a crime. And how to find this out? ASK!! What crime do you suspect me of committing? If they have a REASONABLE SUSPICION you have or are committing a crime you must ID yourself. If they say because I asked. Than say NO and give them Brown V. Texas :does not allow you to stop and demand a persons ID. And unless you have reasonable suspicion I'm committing a crime you can't detain a citizen. Delaware V Prouce : KNOW YOUR RIGHTS

  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    When someone calls the police to make a complaint, that is called a "CALL of SERVICE". The police are obligated by law to respond to the call. Unless of course it's not in their jurisdiction or against their department's policy (ex: removing a raccoon from underneath the porch).

    So whenever a police officer responds to a "CALL of SERVICE", and they encounter the person and/or situation that was called in, they must investigate it. The police will always put their safety and well being before anything else. As a result, anytime they encounter someone, they have the right to ID someone and run a criminal history check. Put yourself in their shoes. How are they to know your not wanted for murder?

    In your eyes, you were minding your own business and only walking outside after hours. However, the police were probably dispatched by someone who said there is a suspicious, young person walking outside their house. Hmmm.... 80% of all crime occurs after hours and from predominately person's between the ages of 12-24 years old. No offense, but those odds were against you. So I would've handled the situation the same way as the police did. Especially if you started to argue with me about how to do my job, and don't want to give up your ID. That just seems like your hiding something that you don't want the police to know about.

    Source(s): Iowa Police Officer
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  • 8 years ago

    “Stop and identify” statutes are laws in the United States that allow police[1] to detain persons and request such persons to identify themselves, and arrest them if they do not.

    The authority to detain on reasonable suspicion was established in Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1 (1968), and does not depend on the existence of a law that specifically authorizes such a detention, so that authority exists in all jurisdictions in the United States. The name disclosure was considered by the U.S. Supreme Court in Hiibel v. Sixth Judicial District Court of Nevada, 542 U.S. 177 (2004), which held that the name disclosure did not violate the Fourth Amendment prohibition on unreasonable searches and seizures. The Hiibel Court also held that, because Hiibel had no reasonable belief that his name would be used to incriminate him, the name disclosure did not violate the Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination; however, the Court left open the possibility that Fifth Amendment right might apply in situations where there was a reasonable belief that giving a name could be incriminating.[2] The Court accepted the Nevada supreme court's interpretation of the Nevada statute that a detained person could satisfy the Nevada law by simply stating his name. The Court did not rule on whether particular identification cards could be required, though it did mention one state's law requiring “credible and reliable” identification had been struck down for vagueness.[3]

    Source(s): From Wikipedia
  • ?
    Lv 7
    8 years ago

    California is not a stop and ID state - In the situation you described you would not have to show ID to the police. But if he put you in handcuffs and checked your ID, he had a legal reason to do so. I could only guess as to what that could be.. walking down the street would not be considered justification. Someone calling on you reporting you as a suspicious person....ridiculous...but maybe.

    And yes they absolutely can lie/manipulate you into consenting, this is well established.

    Edit- Woah now, don't treat him like he just committed a felony and is going to be a criminal for life, he just violated curfew (big deal) and wants to know his rights.

  • Athena
    Lv 7
    8 years ago

    As you are of questionable intelligence and plan on doing wrong things more and more often, your "ID" will be the last of your worries. It will be embroidered on your orange jumpsuit.

    And if you want to take a stand and NOT show your ID, they can hold you for suspicion until your identity can be confirmed. What a great date THAT will make.

    Tell you what. Do it on your prom night.

    THAT will be one your date will remember for a long time.

  • 8 years ago

    You have to be able to positively ID yourself to police when asked.

    You admit to breaking the law, minor law or not is not the issue. Time to grow up son and learn personal responsibilty.

    Source(s): The Law
  • 8 years ago

    Yes because all the cop has to say is.. you looked suspicious. He can come up with one of many reasons to detain you.

  • 8 years ago

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