Legal Question in Civil Rights Law in Arizona

Dear LawGuru,

I live in Arizona and I understand that we are one of the states with a "stop and identify" law. I want to know if I have the Right to refuse to identify myself if I am stopped with no probable cause of committing a crime.

The reason I am asking is because I want to start open carrying a handgun and if I am stopped for ONLY that (not in a motor vehicle of course), there is no law being broken and I have to be Hispanic or speak with an accent in order to be under suspicion of not being in the country legally, (I am white and don't speak with an accent).

So being stopped for "legal" activity and being prompted for my identification would be Unconstitutional, so I don't need to identify myself if I am not being detained, and not under suspicion of anything illegal? Is that correct or do I need to identify myself no matter what in my state?

Thanks for your time.

Asked on 8/02/13, 1:50 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Brian Strickman Strickman Law Office, PLLC

Most likely you are going to need to identify yourself. The standard for a stop is not probable cause of committing a crime. The standard is a form of reasonable suspicion. A law does not have to be broken for a stop occur. The purpose of a stop is to allow an officer to determine whether a crime is or will be occurring. If you are open carrying a weapon an officer could very easily meet the standard even though you are committing no crime by open carrying. Under Arizona's identification law you will need to provide identification, because failure to do so is a crime. These type of laws have been upheld as constitutional.

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Answered on 8/02/13, 3:34 pm

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