Getting Arrested without ID

So if you do not have a drivers lisence and you are arrested without any id on you in a different US city far from where you are from, how do police identify you if you aren’t willing to give up your identity to them? (assuming your fingerprints arent in any system, etc)

While I don’t know the direct answer, I can point out that they won’t release you on bail etc. until your ID has been established, so as long as you sit there not giving up your name, you’re going to keep sitting in jail. Right?

IIRC you are required to identify yourself to the police (but not to carry proof of identity) so you can be charged with some form or another of non-compliance. I guess they call you “John Doe” or somesuch until they figure out who you are. Could be they don’t have to release you until they get a name for you.

if you are arrested they will take your fingerprints and run them through the state and perhaps federal databases, although if you have never been arrested before it’s likely you aren’t in the database.

You may already be in the system if you have/had a job requiring your fingerprints were taken. For example, every federal employee, civilian and military, is already in the system.

Aren’t your prints on file with the DMV in some/most/all states?

No DMV ever took my prints.

Can’t speak for other states, but the DMV does not fingerprint people in Florida.

See: OP re: fingerprinting status.

The guesses are pretty much correct, at least in my experience in various jurisdictions. The judge overseeing the preliminary hearing will order that the person remain in custody until identified, even if a bail or RoR situation would normally apply.

Let’s say that you’re arrested for something without ID but You’re later found not to have committed the original crime. For instance, they review a surveillance tape and realize that whoever it is, it’s not you.

Are they still going to hold you, even when there’s no longer a crime you’re changed with?

I think your name is one of the few things you’re legally required to tell police. For anything else, run it through a lawyer first. But yeah, they will charge you with more crimes if you stubbornly refuse to identify yourself. No ID card needed, but you do have to tell them who you are.

There was, IIRC, a court case in the southern USA - a fellow got into a very strong public argument with his daughter(?) the police were called, and when they arrived all was calm and he refused to identify himself. It went all the way to the Supreme Court, which ruled something along the lines of where there is a suspicion a crime had occurred (did not actually have to be one) then the people involved were obliged to provide their name to the police. No requirement to prove it (I.e. not at the “papers, bitte!” stage) but then again, lying to the police at this point would be a whole different crime.

Which brings up the interesting point of whether they could then hol you on suspicion of lying. Obviously if your name provided is “Donald Duck”, they might have reasonable suspicion… but I assume like any other arrest, they need “probable cause” to hold you, and claiming your name is “Joe Smith” may or may not rise to the point of probable cause?

Then we get back to the topic of numerous previous threads, how do you prove who you are? While there might be recent immigrants, back country hillbilly grannies, and back-to-the-land types - the average person has established enough of a paper trail by age 25 that identity should be moderately easy to prove.

If the initial stop is not justified by reasonable suspicion, then the requirement to identify oneself is invalid. In Hiibel, there was reasonable suspicion to justify the initial traffic stop. SCOTUS has not yet passed on the validity of a statute requiring a person to produce identification (probably because no state has passed one), but it’s unlikely that such a requirement would be upheld in my opinion.

Thanks. IIRC from the description I saw of Hiibel, they were just sitting in the truck and he fit a description, so it was reasonable suspicion but not a traffic stop (which involves a whole different issue of ID).

Yes there is.
Refusing to provide your name is usually some form of resisting arrest or interfering with a peace officer, and you are likely to be charged with that. There might be legal arguments about it, and if you are willing to spend the time & money to fight to the Supreme Court, you might get off. but it won’t be easy.

And all the local cops will become aware of who you are and where you live.

Also, for a while there was a thing for parents getting their young kids fingerprinted, in case some stranger kidnapped them. Are those fingerprints also in that system?

I remember this as well. I think in 2nd or 3rd grade the cops came to the school and fingerprinted all the kids whose parents had signed a consent form. Their rationale was in case we were kidnapped we (or possibly our corpses) might be identified. Of course now, knowing the statistics on kidnapping, it just seems creepy, but back then it was “Yay, we get to mess around with ink”. So I have to assume my prints are still in the government’s master database, even though I’ve never been arrested.

There is no “government master database”. It’s existence is basically an urban legend. Even the AFIS system does not have a large amount of criminal prints if their crime was considered minor (such as misdemeanors and low end felonies).

This situation must happen pretty often. Or am I wrong?
When a cop arrests a typical homeless crackhead/streetwalker/wino, etc.: How many of them have any kind of official ID in the first place?
I suppose most of them have prior arrests, so their fingerprints are traceable.
But what about the first-timers? It must happen almost every day.