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law&society Final Study Guide

law&society Final Study Guide - Issue 7 for Multiple...

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Issue 7 for Multiple Choice Can the Police Require Individuals to Identify Themselves? YES : Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy holds that requiring an individual to identify himself does not violate the right to remain silent and does not infringe rights guaranteed by the Fourth and Fifth Amendments. NO : In a brief filed by the Office of the Nevada State Public Defender, the argument is put forward that when persons are detained on less than probable cause, it is unconstitutional for police to demand that such persons identify themselves and provide the police with their names. Issue at Large : May 21, 2000 Larry Hiibel was approached by cop in Nevada. Hiibel refused to answer any of the officers questions. After not responding when the officer kept asking for Hiibel’s name, the officer arrested Hiibel, charging him under Nevada statue that declares failure to identify oneself to the police as a form of obstruction of justice. Important Cases as Precedence: Terry v. Ohio --- Terry Stops East Brunswick v. Malfitano --- Appellate division of NJ superior court upheld conviction of a man who was arrested for refusing to provide his name to a police officer who was attempting to fill out paperwork for a civil grievance. What is being argued: Is there violation of Fourth and/or Fifth Amendment? Majority Opinion: Yes Police can require individuals to identify themselves. Anthony Kennedy’s Argument for why they can: Hiibel was charged with being in violation of Nevada Rev. Statue. The government reasoned that Hiibel had obstructed the officer in carrying out his duties (duties that under a Nevada statue that defines the legal rights and duties of a police officer in the context of an investigative stop). The statue states the following: 1. Any peace officer may detain any person whom the officer encounters under circumstances which reasonably indicate that the person committed, is committing or is about to commit a crime. Part 3 states that the officer may detain the person pursuant to this section only to ascertain his identity and the suspicious circumstances surrounding his presence abroad. Any person so detained shall identify himself, but may not be compelled to answer any other inquiry of any peace officer. The Justice court agreed that his refusal to identify himself “obstructed and delayed Dove as a public officer in attempting to discharge his duty”. Hiibel then was
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convicted and fined $250 but decided to appeal and argue on the cause of violation of the Fourth and Fifth Amendment. Both were eventually rejected. The Nevada Rev. Statue which he was convicted of obstructing is sometimes referred to as a “stop and identify” statue. Stop and identify statues vary from State to State but all permit an officer to ask or require a suspect to disclose his identity . A few states model their statues on the Uniform Arrest Act, a model code that permits an officer to stop a person reasonably suspected of committing a crime and “demand of him his name, address, business abroad and whither he is going”. Other statues are on text
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