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Probable cause under WA state laws, can police ask for my ID while i am walking down the street

Lynnwood, WA |
Filed under: Jaywalking tickets

do the police have a right to stop me and ask for Identification while I am walking down the street

Attorney Answers 3


Yes they do and you have the right to say no and walk away. Unless they have reasonable suspicion you have committed a crime they have no legal basis to stop you.

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I disagree with the first answer to your question.

In addition to being able to stop you without a warrant under certain circumstances where criminal activity is alleged, under Washington law the police can stop you if they believe you are committing a civil infraction, such as walking down the street with an open container of alcohol or jaywalking. In these cases, the police can detain you long enough to identify you, check for outstanding warrants, and issue you a notice of infraction (ticket). If you are driving, the police can also stop you long enough to do the above mentioned activities as well as checking your license, registration, and insurance.

The police can't just stop you randomly though except under very narrow exceptions.

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No they DO d!p-sh!t-cheap-arse lawyers need to go back to school ! WASHINGTON LAW AT RCW 46.61.021 DOES NOT REQUIREME TO GIVE YOU MY DATE OF BIRTH OR TO HAVE OR SHOW ANY FORM OF PICTURE IDENTIFICATION! It is undisputed that RCW 46.61.021 (3) and the CrRLJ 1.1 decisional law of this statedoes NOT require me to give you my “Date of Birth,” my “Social Security Number” or to haveor show you A “Drivers License,” a “State Identification Card” or any other form of PICTUREID! RCW 46.61.021Duty to obey law enforcement officer--Authority of officer. (1) Any person requested or signaled to stop by a law enforcement officer for a traffic infractionhas a duty to stop.(2) Whenever any person is stopped for a traffic infraction, the officer may detain that person for areasonable period of time necessary to identify the person, check for outstanding warrants, check the status of the person's license, insurance identification card, and the vehicle's registration, andcomplete and issue a notice of traffic infraction. (3) Any person requested to identify himself or herself to a law enforcement officer pursuantto an investigation of a traffic infraction has a duty to identify himself or herself, give his orher current address, and sign an acknowledgement of receipt of the notice of infraction. . . .” It is undisputed that RCW 46.61.021 (3) is worded in the conjunctive and clearly readsthat any. . . “person requested to identify himself to a law enforcement officer pursuant to aninvestigation of a traffic infraction has a duty to identify himself, give his current address, andsign an acknowledgement of receipt of the notice of infraction.” It is undisputed that RCW46.61.021 at subsection (3) only requires that I identify myself by giving you my “ name andaddress .” “ Indeed, there is no general requirement in this country for citizens to carry anyidentification .” State v. Barwick, 66 Wn. App. 706 at 709, 833 P.2d 421 (July 30, 1992).“ As we understand it, the statute does not require a suspect to give the officer a driver’slicense or any other document . Provided that the suspect either states his name orcommunicates it to the officer by other means—a choice, we assume, that the suspect maymake—the statute is satisfied and no violation occurs . See id., at ___, 59 P.3d, at 1206-1207.”Hiibel v. Sixth Judicial Dist. Court of Nev., 124 S.Ct. 2451 at 2457 (June 21, 2004). It is also undisputed that RCW 46.61.021 (3) only requires me to give you my “name andaddress.” Further I cannot be charged with violating RCW 46.61.020 for not having a “driverslicense” if I don’t have one.


Between the two answers given lies the best path which is prudence in talking with police officers. I had a client who followed my advice, refused to show ID and walked on. When he got out of the hospital he was charged with resisting an officer in the course of his duties. I would ask why they want to check your ID (politely) and insist they give you a reason. But if they don't, don't turn your back and walk away. It's like asking for a night stick in the back of your head.

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