At some point in your life, you will have an interaction with the police. And, when that encounter occurs, you may wonder whether you have to give the Arkansas police officer your ID or identify yourself.
Identification versus driver’s license
First, unlike most other states, Arkansas state law requires you to identify yourself, if identification is requested by law enforcement. This means that you must verbally state your name, not necessarily produce your physical ID or driver’s license.
If I refuse identification, does that mean I get arrested?
Unless you are driving, simply violating this law to identify yourself should not, alone, be enough to lead to your arrest. It can be if you are also suspected of other criminal activity, like loitering. An arrest could possibly be made justifiable if the identification is related to officer safety or if it is needed to resolve the reasonable suspicion that prompted the original police stop. Otherwise, non-identification cannot be the basis for an arrest.
What about when driving?
When you are driving, however, you do have a duty to provide your driver’s license. If you forgot it, the police officer may let you go with a warning after you identify yourself. On the other hand, the police officer may ticket you, and then escalate it, which may lead to your arrest. If you have a valid license, though, without more, if they are able to verify your license, your worst-case scenario should be a ticket.
You have the right to remain silent, and you can claim that right at any time, including as it relates to your identification. Though, this does not mean exerting this right will not lead to your rest.
Similarly, you do not have to participate in any investigation, consent to any search and you should ask for a lawyer immediately. But, keep in mind, that unless you have some reasonable fear that your identification alone will lead to your arrest, going to jail over not wanting to identify yourself will likely not be worth it.