LEO asking for ID from passengers

Discussion in 'Off-topic' started by Dawgdoc, Dec 22, 2016.

  1. Dawgdoc

    Dawgdoc Well-Known Member

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    I thought I had previously seen a thread on this topic on GPDO, but I can't find it.

    The short version is, can an LEO demand the ID of a passenger at a traffic stop? I have a work associate who was a passenger in such a situation. Nothing happened in the stop except a verbal warning, but she felt unsure about the situation. When I asked the acting chief of police about it, he responded that an officer may ask for ID from anyone at anytime, but a person can refuse if not under investigation, and even then the officer must be able to articulate probable cause. He also referred me to the State v. Allen decision.

    After reading through the decision I have determined two things. One, I admire you lawyers who have the patience, knowledge, and time to do that on a daily basis; its not something I would want to do. Two, apparently the US Supreme Court and Georgia Supreme Court have ruled that running background checks on passengers is OK since it falls under the umbrella of necessary for officer safety. What is not clear is what happens when a passenger refuses to present ID, or if they don't have one at all. I see the words, "request" and "ask" in the decision, but I did not see "demand."

    So, if I were driving with my wife as a passenger, and I was stopped for something like speeding, should I advise my wife to not present an ID if asked by a LEO? I know this is not concrete legal advice, but I would like to know the opinions (or experiences) of others before I am presented with such a situation. I also have concerns for my mother-in-law who does not have a driver's license, but is a very frequent passenger in various people's cars. She does have a photo ID, but as a passenger, she could very legitimately not have it with her one day (although that might be a slim chance, since she is one of those women with a purse full of everything everywhere she goes).
     
  2. Marine6212

    Marine6212 Active Member

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    Not a lawyer, but I'm with you on this. The rebel side of me wants to tell the officer to pound sand, but the upstanding citizen side of me just wants to comply with the request so that I/we can get back to our journey.

    I betting the officer is hoping the upstanding citizen comply's so he don't have to do more paper work for hauling you in!
     

  3. NTA

    NTA Well-Known Member

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    You can identify yourself without using a government issued ID. Verbal should be sufficient unless you are the driver.

    Then again, LEO's pretty much can do anything and there is no unhappy consequence for them for acting 'reasonably'.
     
  4. UtiPossidetis

    UtiPossidetis American

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    Makes me flash back to "Papiere, bitte." when on the wrong side of the wall in the early 80s. Just sayin'.
     
  5. Fallschirmjäger

    Fallschirmjäger I watch the watchers

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    A police officer has the same rights as anyone else, in that he (or anyone else) may ask for just about anything.

    That said he can only legally demand identification under three circumstances:*
    *excerpted fromhttp://www.gachiefs.com/pdfs/TrooperLegalArchives/TrooperNEWSJuly04.pdf which seems to have disappeared :(

    As for demanding some identification document, how is Officer Friendly authorized by law to demand something which by law is not required to be carried?
    The only thing the law demands to be carried is a licensed for a licensed activity. In GA the two most common are driving and carrying a weapon.
    The authority to demand a driving license is OCGA 40-5-29(b) and only applicable when engaged in the activity listed in sub-para (a)
    The authority to demand a weapon license is umm... well, there isn't one and an officer isn't authorized by law to detain someone merely to ascertain if he/she has a weapons license.

    The fine for not having either in one's 'immediate possession' but being able to produce a license valid at the date of the incident is .... Ten American Dollars.
     
  6. Nemo

    Nemo Man of Myth and Legend

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    http://www.gachiefs.com/index.php/dps-legal-updates/

    Only back to May 14 so it may be in the dark parts of the closet.

    Nemo
     
  7. rmodel65

    rmodel65 Yukon Cornelius

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    Iirc a member here but arrested for not giving Id when he was a passenger
     
  8. Milamber

    Milamber Member

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    It's amazing how many freedoms we happily give up or are forced to give up in the name of security.

    "Vere are your papers"
     
  9. gunsmoker

    gunsmoker Lawyer and Gun Activist

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    I haven't done any legal research lately, but I'd think that IF the cop has a reasonable suspicion that this is more than just a routine traffic stop, the cop can then demand ID from anyone, and while you don't have an obligation to carry a photo ID with you if you're not driving, if you LIE about not having an ID, or you just refuse to produce the one you know you have, it would be something you could be arrested for as misdemeanor obstruction.

    This seems to me like a situation where pro-LEO bias on the part of judges (who want police officers and their unions and advocacy groups to support that judge's re-election) will carry the day over any competing considerations about privacy. "Officer Safety" is indeed a magic phrase that, when uttered in court, makes judges take the cops' side almost all the time. Because, you know, they have a right to go home safe at the end of their shifts.
     
  10. gunsmoker

    gunsmoker Lawyer and Gun Activist

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    State v. Allen

    I'm taking a quick look at State v. Allen (Ga. Supreme Court, 2015)...

    QUOTEs:

    ...the constitutionality of the dog sniff in this case turns on whether running a computer records check on Allen—a passenger in the stopped car—was a lawful part of the mission of the traffic stop.

    ... it certainly enhances an officer's safety during a traffic stop to know if anyone in the stopped car—driver or passenger—may pose a particular threat due to an outstanding arrest warrant or a criminal record showing violent offenses. So we will focus on whether conducting a computer records check on the identification provided by a passenger in a car stopped for a traffic violation is an officer safety measure that is ordinarily permitted as part of the mission of a traffic stop.

    To begin with, neither asking the detained passenger for identification nor running a computer records check on a person is an act that itself infringes on Fourth Amendment rights
    ...

    ...The risks inherent in traffic stops create a strong interest in officer safety that justifies reasonable safety measures that minimally intrude upon the Fourth Amendment privacy expectations of motorists.’ †(citations omitted)); State v. Williams, 264 Ga. App. 199, 202–203, 590 S.E.2d 151 (2003)


    *************

    Even though this Court talks about the right of a cop to ASK questions about passengers' identity and REQUEST that passengers show ID, I think we can read between the lines here and conclude that this Georgia Supreme Court is 100% in favor of using the State's police power to demand, under penalty of law, these things of passengers. So yes, I think that this case (where the passenger complied with the request) is a strong indicator that in some future case where the passenger refuses to show his or her ID, that passenger may be detained even longer, questioned, and potentially arrested for obstruction. That's my educated guess how it would play out.

    There are too many references in this Opinion to "officer safety" and the inherent danger of traffic stops to think otherwise.
     
  11. gunsmoker

    gunsmoker Lawyer and Gun Activist

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    It's certainly true that the only real "holding" of State v. Allen is that when the cop has a legitimate reason to ASK (as in, request voluntary compliance) the passengers to do something that inherently prolongs the traffic stop, that extra time can be used to bring a drug dog to the scene and let the animal sniff around.

    We'd have to extrapolate from that to the next proposition, the next level of another exception to the 4th Amendment-- the authority of cops to demand compliance.

    In a pretty famous 2008 case from the 8th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, Stufflebeam v. Harris, the Court ruled that prolonging the stop with voluntary requests is OK, but using force of law to demand it is not. Thus, the officer can be sued by the passenger for detaining him over his refusal to cooperate.
     
  12. Milamber

    Milamber Member

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    So as my car is a extention of my house I can conceal a firearm within that car and I have no duty to inform LEO of it's existence. Nor do I have to tell him if he asks. But if I am a passenger in a vehicle that gets stopped for moving violation, not a crime, I am expected to provide proof of ID for officer safety. Am I missing something or .....
     
  13. 45_Fan

    45_Fan Well-Known Member

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    I thought the non-driver ID requirements were essentially stating first name, last name, and address...not surrendering an actual physical ID card.

    Am I wrong? Did that change?
     
  14. rmodel65

    rmodel65 Yukon Cornelius

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    in before JRM saying while that is a popular notion its not a legal one
     
  15. legacy38

    legacy38 Well-Known Member

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    In the thread title, you use the word "ask". In the first sentence, you use the word "demand".

    Those two words have very, very different meanings, and they have vastly different legalities attached to them.

    To ask is to request, and if it is a request, you have the right to decline or even to ignore the request completely.
     
  16. Fallschirmjäger

    Fallschirmjäger I watch the watchers

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    Do you have an actual physical ID card?
    From whom was it issued?
     
  17. Fallschirmjäger

    Fallschirmjäger I watch the watchers

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    I'm going to ahead and say that 'reading between the lines' and 'making conclusions' is more 'making assumptions' and we all know the trite saying about that.
    The black and white words of the court are "ask" if they meant 'may demand' I'm sure they would have written it so that there would be no need to presume.

    A few modest questions:
    Does the state of Georgia (as a matter or course) issue identification cards?

    Does the state of Georgia require its citizens to carry identification?

    Does the state of Georgia issue licenses?

    Does the state of Georgia require its citizens to carry a license when performing a licensed activity?

    Does an officer have the authority to demand something the state does not demand its citizens carry?

    Does the state of Georgia demand the display of a license and under what circumstances?

    Is there a court case where not providing an identification document has resulted in a conviction for obstruction?
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2016
  18. Dawgdoc

    Dawgdoc Well-Known Member

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    That is what I am trying to determine. Can a LEO demand the id of a passenger? The reply from the acting chief said that an officer can ask, and the referenced court case never uses the phrase "demand." Before getting into a confrontation on the side of the road with a LEO, it would be nice to know if a passenger can be forced to show ID, or is it always a "request" that can be refused without risk of being arrested? Is there anyway to know if a request is just a request or is it a polite way for the LEO to demand? Also, if it is always a request, but a LEO takes personal offense at being denied the request and turns a warning into a ticket, then it would be a defacto demand, just with a different penalty than being arrested.

    It seems like phrasing is important. "I would like to see your ID" sounds different than, "Let me see your ID," and "Hand over your ID" sounds like an outright demand. However, to many people, any LEO saying any of those three phrases might sound like a demand with the force of law behind it.
     
  19. 45_Fan

    45_Fan Well-Known Member

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    I have a series of small plastic ID cards. One gives me permission to create debt, another permission to access my money, yet another grants me permission to operate motor vehicles, another to carry weapons, another to open doors at work and yet another to re-enter my home country.

    I'm fairly certain that none of those are applicable when I'm a passenger in a motor vehicle driven by a friend though.
     
  20. Fallschirmjäger

    Fallschirmjäger I watch the watchers

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    And I'm sure that only one of those is an identification document; i.e. you seem to have listed credit cards, a bank card, a driver's license, weapons license, a key card and a passport (which is identification)

    I'll admit though that a driver's license is identification de facto, but it's not identification de jure.