People in Colorado are sometimes confused about what information they have to provide police officers if they’re stopped. One thing that some don’t realize is that Colorado has specific laws that outline this very subject.
Colorado has a stop and identify statue that requires individuals to provide their name to law enforcement officers. State law also says that you have to provide your driver’s license to officers if you’re operating a motor vehicle. The officer doesn’t have to reveal the reason for the request. If a person refuses to identify themselves to the police officer, they can be arrested for obstruction of justice.
Find out if you can leave
One thing that you can do if you’re stopped by an officer is ask if you’re free to go. Police officers can have casual conversations with individuals without detaining them. If the officer tells you that you aren’t free to go, then you’re being detained or arrested. In order to detain someone, the officers must have reasonable suspicion that a crime was committed.
It’s imperative that you understand exactly what the officer is doing and to know your rights. While some people think that their identifying information should be protected under privacy and self-incrimination laws, this isn’t the case. The Supreme Court ruled that simply asking for a person’s name doesn’t violate the Fourth Amendment or the Fifth Amendment.
In any interaction with the police, it’s best to remember your rights and invoke them as necessary. This can help protect you as long as you invoke them in an appropriate manner. Anyone who is arrested because they refused to provide their name to police officers should seek experienced legal guidance.