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Failure to Identify

In Texas, if you have been arrested, you are required to provide the arresting officer with your name, residence address, or date of birth. Police routinely ask people they encounter for their names and other identifying information. The police may request the information to aid in the criminal investigation of a particular offense, or they may simply require the information to protect themselves, allowing them to identify and determine whether the person they have encountered has a violent criminal history.

Definition of Failure to Identify in Collin County, Texas

Generally, there are two different types of situations that give rise to a failure to identify charge in Texas:

  1. A person commits failure to identify if he or she intentionally refuses to give his or her name, residence address, or date of birth to a police officer who has lawfully arrested the person and requested the information. An offense committed under this section is generally charged as a Class C Misdemeanor. However, if the person was a fugitive from justice at the time the offense was committed, the offense is charged as a Class B Misdemeanor.
  2. A person commits failure to identify if he or she intentionally gives a false or fictitious name, residence address, or date of birth to a police officer who has lawfully arrested the person, lawfully detained the person, or requested the information from a person that the police officer has good cause to believe is a witness to a criminal offense. An offense committed under this section is generally charged as a Class B Misdemeanor. However, if the person was a fugitive from justice at the time the offense was committed, the offense is charged as a Class A Misdemeanor.

Defending Failure to Identify Charges in Collin County, Texas

While the failure to identify laws in Texas may appear relatively clear cut, carefully notice that you are under no obligation to provide identifying information to a police officer unless you have been lawfully arrested or detained. In order to lawfully detain a person in Texas, a police officer must have reasonable, articulable suspicion that a crime has occurred or is about to occur. Mark O’Bryan, as an experienced Collin County criminal defense attorney, can analyze the facts and circumstances surrounding a failure to identify charge and aggressively challenge the basis for the arresting officer’s initial detention and subsequent arrest.