Police Ability to Stop and Question People in Utah
We take many freedoms for granted in Utah and the rest of the United States. One such freedom is the freedom of movement. People in the United States are free to move within the country unimpeded by government actions or restraints. People don’t have to carry papers with them authorizing their movement from when area to another. If not involved in an illegal activity such as a drug crime, there are no criminal penalties for moving across states lines. People in Utah are generally free to walk down the street without government intervention. Utah law does, however, allow police to stop and talk to people under specific circumstances. If people do not answer certain police questions, then they could be charged with a crime under Utah law. It’s important for those being questioned by police from Salt Lake, Ogden, Provo, St. George, and the rest of Utah to understand what they are required to tell police and what they don’t have to disclose. A Salt Lake area criminal defense lawyer can help those being questioned by Utah police officers.
Failure to Disclose Identity
Utah Code 77-7-15 says that a Utah police officer can stop any person in a public place when he has a reasonable suspicion the person has committed, is committing, or is about to commit a crime. The officer may demand the person’s name, address, and an explanation of his actions. If a person is stopped and questioned under these circumstances, the person is required by Utah Code 76-8-301.5 to disclose his identity. Failure to disclose identity is a class B misdemeanor.
There are limitations to this law, however. The demand for the disclosure of identity must be reasonably related to the circumstances justifying the stop and the disclosure of identity does not self-incriminate the person in the commission of a crime. People aren’t usually subject to these limitations since they can easily be overcome. What these laws mean then is that a Utah police officer is able to stop a person and question him or her, but the person only need provide identity information; the person does not need to explain what he or she is doing or any other information. If you are ever questioned by Utah police in a public place, provide identity information or you could be charged with failure to disclose identity, but you need not reveal anything else to the officers.
Identity Crime? Contact the Salcido Law Firm
If you have been charged with failure to disclose identity or another identity crime contact the Utah criminal defense lawyers from the Salt Lake based Salcido Law Firm. Our Utah criminal defense lawyers service those living in all parts of Utah including the Ogden, Salt Lake, Provo, and St. George areas. Consultations with a lawyer are free so don’t hesitate to speak with a criminal defense lawyer today by calling 801.618.1334.