State v. Friend, 237 N.C. App. 490 (Dec. 2, 2014)

The trial court properly denied the defendant’s motion to dismiss the charge of resisting, delaying, or obstructing a public officer where the evidence showed that the defendant refused to provide the officer with his identification so that the officer could issue a citation for a seatbelt violation. The court held: “failure to provide information about one’s identity during a lawful stop can constitute resistance, delay, or obstruction within the meaning of [G.S.] 14-223.” It reasoned that unlike failing to provide a social security number, the “Defendant’s refusal to provide identifying information did hinder [the] Officer . . . from completing the seatbelt citation.” It continued:

          There are, of course, circumstances where one would be excused from providing his or her identity to an officer, and, therefore, not subject to prosecution under N.C. Gen. Stat. §14-223. For instance, the Fifth Amendment’s protection against compelled self-incrimination might justify a refusal to provide such information; however, as the United States Supreme Court has observed, “[a]nswering a request to disclose a name is likely to be so insignificant in the scheme of things as to be incriminating only in unusual circumstances.” Hiibel v. Sixth Judicial Dist. Court of Nev., 542 U.S. 177, 191, 124 S. Ct. 2451, 2461, 159 L. Ed.2d 292, 306 (2004). In the present case, Defendant has not made any showing that he was justified in refusing to provide his identity to Officer Benton.