When is lawful for a Texas cop to ask for your ID?

Every so often self-anointed legal experts regurgitate myths – aka misinformation – about police encounters and your personal ID.

Read the law from TEXAS PENAL CODE, TITLE 8. OFFENSES AGAINST PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION, CHAPTER 38. OBSTRUCTING GOVERNMENTAL OPREATION, Sec. 38.02. FAILURE TO IDENTIFY

Key words to remember:old id photo

  • LAWFULLY
  • DETAINED
  • ARRESTED
  • OBSTRUCTION

If a police officer DETAINS you for a traffic violation and you refuse to identify yourself you will be charged with OBSTRUCTION and most likely hauled off to the nearest jail.

Read the law. Know the law. Obey the law.

If you believe the law is unjust, take it up with your state senator and your state representative for action in the next Texas Legislature.

If you argue with the cop at any point prior to adequately identifying yourself, you will most likely be charged with OBSTRUCTION.

Let’s say the police officer stopped you for suspicion of drunk driving and you were not drunk. You may become argumentative (uncooperative) at the injustice. At this point, there will be two charges: DWI or DUI plus Obstruction. You get the blood test that clearly proves you were not legally drunk or high on drugs. The DWI or DUI charge will be dropped, but the Obstruction will remain.

Are all cops out to get you? No, only some members of all police departments have people who are hell bent on making arrests. Most are good folks with families, just like you. Treat them respectfully. Obey their orders. If the cop misbehaves, usually everything said or done will be recorded and retrievable for a small fee. That video and/or audio can then be used to prosecute the cop.

You will reap what you sow. If you sow disrespect toward a policeman, expect to reap in kind. If you want respect, show respect. – John White

My advice: If there is a fault in the detention or arrest, let the cop be the bad guy. If you also misbehave, a jury will ALWAYS side with the arresting officer. If only the cop misbehaves, the jury or the prosecutor can make a clear distinction and right the wrong.

John White
Rockwall, Texas