Failure to Identify

Failure to Identify?

There is always some confusion about what a person is required to tell officers. Whether an individual tells an officer their life story, or just speaks a few words, there are only three pieces of information a citizen is required to give. A Failure to Identify charge arises when that person either refuses to give that information, or lies about that information.

That information is:

  • name,
  • residence address, or
  • date of birth.

You can read the specific Statute and Punishments for Failure to Identify below.

What You Need To Know

There are two sections to the Failure to Identify law in Texas. First, subsection (a) requires a person who is "lawfully arrested" to reveal the person's name, residence address, or date of birth. Basically, Identifying information about who the officer is arresting. This subsection deals only with refusing to provide Identifying Information. This is a Class C Misdemeanor, punishable by a $500 fine plus costs (unless the person has an active warrant at the time of the Failure to Identify offense, and if so, it's a Class B Misdemeanor).

Texas Penal Code 38.02 Subsection (b) involves providing the officer with false Identifying information, rather than refusing to give it. If a person is lawfully arrested or detained, then lying about the person's name, residence address, or date of birth will give rise to arrest. This is a Class B Misdemeanor, punishable by probation, up to 6 months in jail, $2000 fines, or a combination of those (unless the person has an active warrant at the time of the Failure to Identify offense, and if so, it's a Class A Misdemeanor).

Under another subsection, the person doesn't necessarily need to be arrested; if a person is a witness to a crime and the officer has "requested the information," then lying about name, residence address, or date of birth will give rise to arrest as well.



Closely Related Offenses

Related areas to Failure to Identify include offenses such as Possession of False ID, or cases involve minors either drinking alcohol or trying to drink, as with a Misrepresentaion of Age.

If you're looking for other offenses that are related to this one, you can see more information below, or click related legal offenses.


Jail Release and Bond for Failure to Identify

In most cases, Failure to Identify results in an arrest that leads to jail. Keates Law Firm can act quickly to assist with a personal bond to release that person. Be sure to read more about Bond, Personal Bonds, and Travis County Jail Releases.

Sometimes an officer will file arrest warrant , which will require a Walkthrough to clear the Arrest Warrant. Doing a Walkthrough quickly is important, because most of the time a person does not go into the jail during the surrender process. Call us for more details if you have an Active Travis County Arrest Warrant.


Defenses for Failure to Identify

Being under arrest is typically the main issue in a Fail to ID case -- so an examination into whether there was a lawful arrest is needed. If you'd like to talk in detail about your situation, or if you have questions, contact us for a Free Case Consultation. Keep in mind, Keates Law Firm only practices in Austin and Travis County.


Work with an Experienced Failure to Identify Attorney

Hiring the right attorney from the beginning is important. Poor legal decisions will have a negative effect upon the case as it progresses. The Keates Law Firm has over 16+ Years Experience handling Failure to Identify cases. Our focus is to try and have the case dismissed against you. We don't even discuss pleas until all legal and negotiation options have been explored in detail.


Call Us to talk about your particular case and situation. It's a 100% Free Phone Consultation with Criminal Defense Attorney Keates. No Sales Pitches, No Hassles. We'll see if we are the right Law Firm for you, and give you a quote. Be sure to check out Keates Law Firm's Reviews and also our past cases and Results.


How We Can Help

Your goal should be Dismissal for any Failure to Identify charge. While not every case can be dismissed, often times the goal becomes avoiding jail, or getting a reduced charge, or even getting a favorable probation with a possible dismissal at the end, called Deferred Adjudication. If dismissed, a person can later seek an Expunction of a Criminal Record, which is where a Judge Orders the offense records destroyed, including police reports, court records, and prosecutor files.

Likewise, if Deferred Adjudication is successfully completed, the person can have thier record sealed through Motions for NonDisclosure.


Benefits of Working with Keates Law Firm:

  • Direct Access to Attorney's Email and Cell (Texting Okay!)
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Sec. 38.02. Failure to Identify.

(a) A person commits an offense if he intentionally refuses to give his name, residence address, or date of birth to a peace officer who has lawfully arrested the person and requested the information. (b) A person commits an offense if he intentionally gives a false or fictitious name, residence address, or date of birth to a peace officer who has: (1) lawfully arrested the person; (2) lawfully detained the person; or (3) requested the information from a person that the peace officer has good cause to believe is a witness to a criminal offense.


What are the Failure to Identify Punishments?

Failure to Identify penalties are misdemeanors, and depend upon what is said (or not said) and if the person has a warrant at the time.


Penalties for Failure to Identify
Level of Offense Punishment
Class C Misdemeanor Not Jailable, No more than $500 fines
Class B Misdemeanor Not more than 180 days in a county jail, and/or no more than $2,000 fines
Class A Misdemeanor Not more than 1 year in a county jail, and/or no more than $4,000 fines

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