If you provide a false name to a public officer who is attempting to discharge his or her official duties, you can be charged with a crime.
N.C.G.S. § 14-223, "Resisting Officers," states, "If any person shall willfully and unlawfully resist, delay or obstruct a public officer in discharging or attempting to discharge a duty of his office, he shall be guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor."
Individuals who have provided police officers with false names have in the past been charged with resisting a public officer under this statute.
Potential defenses include a) offering evidence that the officer was not discharging or attempting to discharge a duty of his or her office at the time or b) establishing that the defendant's action was excused; for example, resisting an officer is excused when the officer uses excessive force, because such force is unlawful.
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