It’s a question that many people have – if I’m stopped by a police officer in North Carolina, am I required to provide them with my name? What will happen if I refuse? The answer in North Carolina is…it depends.
When am I required to give my name or provide identification to a police officer?
Unlike some states, North Carolina has no “stop and identify” statute. This means that, as a general rule, a person who is stopped by police in North Carolina is NOT required to provide his or her name or produce identification. However, pursuant to NCGS § 20-29, a driver of a motor vehicle IS required to produce a license upon the request of an officer. Therefore, unless you are stopped while operating a motor vehicle, you have no legal obligation to give a police officer your name or any identification when asked.
What happens if I refuse to provide my name or identification to a police officer?
Under NCGS § 20-29, it is a Class 2 misdemeanor for the driver of a motor vehicle to fail to produce a license or other valid identification upon the request of a police officer. You may also be charged with Resist, Delay, or Obstruct a Public Officer pursuant to NCGS § 14-223.
As discussed above, if you are not operating a motor vehicle, it is your right to politely refuse to give your name or identification to police officer when requested. Unfortunately, in our experience, some police officers in Wake County still falsely believe a person must provide identification upon request. Therefore, even though you have the right to refuse to identify yourself when stopped by the police, there’s still a chance you could be wrongly charged with Resist, Delay, or Obstruct a Public Officer (RDO) in the Raleigh area for refusing. Should this happen, an aggressive and knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer, like our attorneys at The Law Offices of Wiley Nickel, can show in court that simply refusing to identify yourself to a police officer (as is your legal right) cannot support a North Carolina resisting arrest (RDO) charge.
Contact a Raleigh RDO Lawyer Today
If you’ve been charged with a criminal offense, like Resist Delay or Obstruct (RDO), in Wake County and believe your rights were violated by a police officer, contact The Law Offices of Wiley Nickel at 919-585-1486 for a free consultation with one of our experienced criminal defense lawyers.