However, in the Hiibel case, the Court found the request for identification was related inscope to the circumstances that justified the stop. The officer's request was acommonsense inquiry in responding to a call reporting domestic violence, and notsimply an effort to arrest a suspect for failing to provide identification after the officercould find no sufficient evidence of a crime.
In sum, Hiibel holds a state may criminalize a refusal to produce identificationas longas the detention is predicated on a valid Terry stop (i.e., reasonable suspicion). In otherwords, police officers do not violate the Fourth Amendment when they arrest anindividual after the individual refuses to provide identification during a lawful detentionpursuant to their state's stop-and-identify statute. Certainly, it should come as nosurprise that the remaining state legislatures might enact similar stop-and-identifystatutes. No doubt such enactments provide law enforcement with another importanttool to ensure officer safety during brief and seemingly innocuous encounters.
Do not construe this column as legal advice. Each police officer should consult with anattorney in their jurisdiction for legal advice on any specific issue.
Hiibel v. Sixth Judicial District Court, 124 S.Ct. 2541, 2546 (2004), identifies at least 20states with such statutes.Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1 (1968).125 S.Ct. 2451 (2004).125 S.Ct. at 2455.NRS § 171.123.124 S.Ct. at 2458.
Laura L. Scarry is a partner in the law firm of Myers, Miller & Krauskopf in Chicago, Ill.She represents law enforcement officials against claims of civil rights violations in stateand federal courts. Scarry was a police officer with the Lake Forest (Ill.) PoliceDepartment from 1986-1992.
Sidebar: Terry v. Ohio
In Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1 (1968), a police officer with 39 years experience hadpatrolled the vicinity of a downtown metropolitan area for shoplifters and pickpocketsfor 30 years. The officerwatched a man (Terry) walk past the window of a jewelrystore several times and then walk over to several men. It appeared to the officer thatthe men were planning to rob the store, so he stopped them and asked questions.During the encounter, the officerfrisked Terry and found a weapon.The U.S. Supreme Court held that the officer had reasonable suspicion to stop andquestion the suspects based on the officer's patrol experience in the downtown area.The rule that evolved from this opinion states that officers may pat down an individual