Police Stops in Illinois
Getting stopped by the police may make some people nervous, even when they haven’t done anything wrong. In some cases, a police stop can be a quick encounter that takes minutes out of the day; in other cases, the stop could result in arrest. Whatever the reason for the stop, it is important to always know your rights as you encounter police officers.
Being Stopped by an Officer
There are two common situations in which the police can routinely stop you in an everyday situation: in a traffic stop and as you walk on the street. Police are allowed to stop you in both situations if they act in a reasonable manner, and can state a reason why they stopped you. In a traffic stop situation, the police can stop you if they see you commit a traffic violation, and will routinely ask you for your license and registration information. If the police stop you while you are walking in the street, they may ask you to identify yourself, and, in most cases, this is through asking for your I.D.
Whether or not you want to cooperate with the police, you should at the very least give them your name. Under the U.S. and Illinois Constitutions, a person cannot be forced to incriminate themselves; that is, a person is not required to give evidence against himself in a criminal case. This constitutional right covers many different types of evidence, but does not include giving your name to the police in a quick stop.
The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that being required to give your name to police officers during a stop is not incriminating yourself. Illinois police officers are allowed to ask you for your name when they conduct a brief stop in the street, and should make this request in the vicinity of the stop. In addition to your name, police officers may also ask for your address, as well as an explanation for your actions. Police may similarly ask for your license and registration during a traffic stop.
It is important to remember that when the police ask for your name, you should not lie and provide a fake name or address to a police officer who has arrested or temporarily detained you. In Illinois, this is a crime known as obstructing identification, and is a Class A misdemeanor, which could result in a year in prison. This law even applies to people who are witnesses of a crime who are asked to provide their name and address.
Contact an Illinois Criminal AttorneyIf you were arrested because of evidence found following a police stop, contact the experienced Illinois criminal defense attorneys at Law Office of Glenn M. Sowa, LLC for a consultation. Depending on the police conduct during the stop, the evidence against you may be dismissed.