Failure to identify charges in Fort Worth commonly result when individuals are confused about their rights. It is imperative that you know your rights when interacting with the police. The most often implicated right with failure to identify charges is the right to remain silent. You do not have to answer questions from a police officer that go to the heart of the offense. This means if a police officer questions you about what happened, you do not need to and should not answer the questions. Immediately state that you would like to consult with an attorney and call the Fulgham Law Firm.
However, an arrest for failure to identify does not occur because an individual refused to succumb to interrogation. As a former prosecutor for the District Attorney’s Office in both Collin and Tarrant Counties, I have seen numerous confused individuals over-aggressively charged with failure to identify for simply misunderstanding the right to remain silent. Over the years, I have developed a keen understanding of how judges and juries think and evaluate evidence. I have also gained a unique knowledge of the prosecution of a case and have built relationships with the District Attorney’s Office, allowing me to better negotiate on your behalf regarding plea offers, diversion, and sentencing.
If you were arrested for failure to identify in Tarrant County and its surrounding cities, call the Fulgham Law Firm today to schedule a free consultation to review your charges at (817) 886-3078. We can discuss your arrest and Texas law regarding failure to identify, brainstorm defenses, and develop a game plan for attacking the prosecution’s case.
What Is Failure to Identify in Fort Worth?
Texas Penal Code § 38.02 defines failure to identify as the knowing and intentional refusal to give biographical data to a police officer that has effectuated an arrest and is requesting this data.
Biographical data includes:
- Date of birth
When you are arrested, an officer will attempt to gather information about you to input into the system. This information goes on police reports, as well as national criminal databases. Your unique biographical data is used to identify you and match the arrest to your exact identity.
Questioning regarding biographical data is not considered interrogation. During custodial interrogation, you have a constitutional right under Miranda to remain silent. However, you do not have the right to remain silent when an officer asks for your name, address or date of birth. You must answer these questions, and you must answer truthfully.
Penalties for Failure to Identify to a Tarrant County Police Officer
Refusing to answer biographical data questions is a Class C misdemeanor, which faces a hefty fine but no county jail time.
However, if you lie and give a fake name, address or date of birth in order to protect yourself, failure to identify may become a Class B misdemeanor, which faces up to 180 days in Tarrant County jail and/or up to $2,000 in fines.
Defenses to Failure to Identify
If you were accused of refusing to answer questions, possible defenses include:
- Incapacity to answer
- You were not at the time under arrest
- The officer was attempting to ask you non-biographical data questions
If you were accused of providing false information, possible defenses include:
- The information you gave was accurate and current
- The police officer misunderstood your answer or you misunderstood the question
Zealous Advocacy Against Failure to Identify Charges in Fort Worth
Each day, countless Fort Worth residents are accused of failure to identify. As a former prosecutor, I can anticipate the prosecution’s evidence and arguments in order to craft a creative and strong defense strategy. To schedule a free consultation with the Fulgham Law Firm, call (817) 886-3078 today.