Hendersonville, NC asked in Traffic Tickets, Civil Rights and Constitutional Law for North Carolina

Q: Does NC Highway Patrol need suspicion of crime or violation to stop or detain me? Do I have to ID to them/them to me?

I had been stopped by NC Highway Patrol at a checkpoint and asked for my identification. I asked if I had done anything wrong and would prefer not to ID if I didn’t commit a crime, that it was my understanding NC isn’t a Stop and ID State and felt being forced to do so would violate my 4th Amendment Right. I was asked to pull farther off the road so the Trooper and I could talk more on this, I did so. The following short interaction I have recorded, but to summarize: I confirmed with the Trooper I had committed no traffic violations, confirmed I was not suspected of breaking any laws, and confirmed that I still had to produce ID for them. I questioned what would happen if I refused and was threatened with an arrest of resist/obstruct/delay. I agreed to hand my ID under that threat of arrest. No problems were found with my license or tag and my ID was returned. At which time I asked for their names and badge numbers, they refused. I asked if it was policy to give them, they said no.

1 Lawyer Answer
Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II
  • Consumer Law Lawyer
  • Newport Beach, CA

A: Police in many jurisdictions establish check points where they check all vehicles that pass through, mostly looking for DUI, but also for registration/license violations. These are advertised in advance in the newspapers or on the city website. At these checkpoints the law allows the officers to check ID whether there is a suspected offense or not. Your rights were not violated. As for refusing to identify themselves, I cannot say. You may have a case but not a very big one, what are your damages? I recommend you contact several attorneys in your area that practice this type of law, as soon as possible. Thank you for using Justia ask a lawyer.

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