In Ohio, if law enforcement asks for your name, address or date of birth, you are required to provide that information to the officer if there is reasonable suspicion that you have committed a crime. Refusing to provide the requested information is potentially a violation of R.C. 2921.29, Failure to Disclose Personal Information.
Additionally, you can be charged with failure to disclose personal information if law enforcement believes you witnessed a crime, asks for your name, address or date of birth for the purposes of the investigation, and you refuse to provide that information.
Furthermore, if you provide information that is intentionally misleading (e.g., a false name or date of birth), the officer may charge you with Obstructing Official Business.
Penalties in Ohio for Failing to Disclose Personal Information
If a person is found guilty of failing to disclose personal information in Ohio, the court may impose up to 30 days in jail and a $250 fine as this offense is a 4th degree misdemeanor.
When is it a Crime to Not Disclose Personal Information in Ohio?
A number of appellate courts in Ohio have dealt with the issue of when is it a crime to refuse to disclose personal information. Law enforcement sometimes forget that it is a crime to fail to disclose personal information only where an officer reasonably believes you have committed, are committing or about to commit a crime.
In State v. Dickman, a Gahanna police officer was using a scanner to read and run license plates in a Kroger parking lot. The officer was driving through the parking lot when she observed two men sitting in a vehicle. One of the men did not make eye contact with the officer, which the officer found suspicious.
The officer approached the vehicle and the man exited the vehicle. While exiting, the alarm went off to his vehicle and he dropped some plastic baggies. This made the officer even more suspicious.
The officer said there had been several break-ins in the parking lot and asked for his identification. The man refused to provide it and was arrested. The officer found bath salts in his pocket and found a warrant for his arrest.
However, the case was dismissed in court because the officer couldn’t identify any crime she believed the man to have committed or was committing. Furthermore, the officer lacked probable cause to arrest, a violation of the man’s constitutional rights.
Scenario Where You Must Disclose Personal Information
You must disclose personal information if law enforcement has reasonable suspicion that you have committed, are committing or are about to commit a criminal act. For example, if you are in a store and a loss prevention officer stops you because he or she witnessed you put an item in your pocket, pass all points of sale, and attempt to leave the store, when law enforcement arrives you must disclose your name, address and date of birth.
In that example, law enforcement has reasonable suspicion to believe you committed or were about to commit theft and the failure to disclose your personal information can result in you being charged with failure to disclose personal information. If you provide information that you know is misleading or inaccurate, you may also be charged with obstructing official business.
Columbus and Delaware, Ohio Criminal Defense Attorney
If you have been charged with failure to disclose personal information in Columbus or Delaware, Ohio, contact Johnson Legal, LLC and speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney. Attorney David Johnson of Johnson Legal, LLC will discuss your case and assist you in fighting the charges. Call (614) 987-0192 or send an email to schedule a consultation regarding your failure to disclose personal information case.