Defendants Must Reveal Their Names to the Police – U.S. v. Hiibel

Today, in a 5 to 4 decision, the United States Supreme Court held that a state may require by law that a person who has been detained by the police provide his name upon request by the police. The failure of such a person to provide his name may be lawfully prosecuted. The giving of a name to the police under such circumstances cannot be said to violate the 5th Amendment privilege to remain silent since the name will not ordinarily be incriminating in nature. However, the Justices left open the possibility that the Court will someday decide a future case that might entail a situtation where the suspect’s name will prove to be a critical piece of incriminating evidence.

Download a copy of Hiibel v. Sixth Judicial District Court of Nevada

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