An officer who encounters a person under circumstances which reasonably indicate that the person has committed or is about to commit a crime may temporarily stop that person. The surrounding facts and circumstances dictate the reasonableness of such a police stop and whether the stop rose to the level of a “detention.” Being stopped briefly and subsequently held and detained triggers numerous constitutional protections and exceptions.
Depending on the surrounding facts and circumstances known to the officer, a lawful stop or police contact may be justified. An officer may extend that stop to a “detention” and perform what is known as a “stop and frisk.”
A “stop and frisk” is generally constitutional when an officer has:
- A reasonable suspicion of criminal behavior and/or;
- A reasonable concern for officer safety
*These elements apply both at the scene of a routine traffic stop and on the street.
An officer needs to have more than a mere “hunch” of criminal activity or officer safety concerns.
Please contact The Law Offices of Gregory D. Brenner if you feel that your rights have been violated and are facing criminal accusations. We will make sure that your rights are adequately protected.