Social Question

Nullo's avatar

Hypothetical: How would police handle someone who had no I.D.?

Asked by Nullo (21911points) April 27th, 2012

Let’s imagine that somebody gets arrested for some small thing – vandalism, perhaps. He refuses to give a name, has no I.D. and nobody to claim him. Does this put a hold on processing, leaving him stranded somewhere between crime and justice?

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10 Answers

Blackberry's avatar

What are they wearing and what is their race?

Nullo's avatar

@Blackberry Casual dress, and the police are colorblind.

Blackberry's avatar

I’m just messing with you. I don’t have a solid answer, sorry :/

funkdaddy's avatar

I’ve been stopped with no “real” ID and the police get really thorough all of a sudden. Even though I could provide a name, driver’s license number, and had a debit card on me, they run your name and then ask you about any names that are anywhere close that they might be looking for. “Do you ever go by Randy?”... no. “How about Sam?”... no.

I believe just the act of not identifying yourself is enough to get you arrested, and then I would imagine they fingerprint you and try whatever they can to identify you. You can be arraigned without identification, and I would imagine a judge would compel you to identify yourself or stay in jail.

Since they already have you physically, I’m not sure if there’s any hurry after that.

Edit to add – stop and identify laws which seem to vary by state.

zenvelo's avatar

Your headline differs from the body of your question. Not having ID is different from refusing to identify oneself.

While laws vary by state, there was a case in San Diego in the early 80s where a man who had no ID was stopped, and gave his name, but was arrested anyway for not having a Driver’s License or State issued ID. Courts upheld that he was not compelled to have a ‘valid’ ID, and should not have been arrested.

mowens's avatar

I would be interested to hear John Pennington’s answer on this.

Nullo's avatar

@zenvelo They are essentially the same. I have in mind a person with no record of his existence available. The refusal to identify himself only reinforces the effect of a lack of documentation.
If you like, you could pretend that the guy had never been given a name.

ucme's avatar

With kid gloves, you know, those fluffy ones with spongebob on.

woodcutter's avatar

See if his fingerprints are in any database matches, if that PD has that capability. And his photo should be useful to the media for example. There should be a way to run this down maybe if the guy was a transient it might throw them.

rooeytoo's avatar

This question made me think of johnpennington, I haven’t seen his name for a while. When I looked for him, he was gone! When did this happen, I liked him.

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