Can Police Stop and Question People Who Are Not Under Arrest?
The police can stop a person, and ask questions, without “arresting” the person. Upon seeing suspicious activity, the police may perform what is called a “Terry Stop,”
It was a decision taken by the United States Supreme Court, which held that the Fourth Amendment prohibition on unreasonable searches and seizures was not violated when a police officer stopped a suspect on the street and searched him without probable cause to arrest. The Court held that police may briefly detain a person if they have a reasonable suspicion that the person has committed, is committing, or is about to commit a crime.
The scope of a “Terry Stop” is limited to investigation of the specific suspicious activity, and if the police detain people to question them about additional matters, the stop can turn into an “arrest.” For their own safety, the police can perform a “weapons frisk” on the outside of a person’s clothes (sometimes called “patting down the suspect”) during a “Terry Stop.” During this frisk, if they feel something that may be a weapon, they may remove it from the suspect for further examination. However, they are not entitled to remove items from person’s pockets that do not appear to be weapons, even if they believe that the items are contraband.
If The Police Ask To Search Me, My House, Or My Car, Do I Have To Say “Yes”?
No. You can refuse the search request. Police may want to search your house on the grounds of suspicion and with an assumption that they will find evidence for alleged criminal activity. To perform search, they need to have proper legal authority. With that, they can search your house even after your refusal. But in case they don’t have the permission to do so, by agreeing to their request you will be providing the same.
During an investigative stop, or a traffic stop, a police officer may ask if he can search you or your car. However, if you give the police officer permission, he can perform the search even if he otherwise had no legal authority to do so. Some people don’t know, or forget, that they have an “open” bottle of liquor in the car – a bottle with the seal broken, whether or not the cap is off. Sometimes, people have knives or other weapons which can be classified as illegal “concealed weapons.” Sometimes, people forget that they have contraband in their cars, such as illegal drugs, or find to their chagrin that their teenaged child dropped a marijuana cigarette in the car. Unless you are the only person with access to the interior of your car, you may be in for a surprise if you grant permission for a search.
Do The Police Have To “Read Me My Rights” When I Am Arrested?
The police have no obligations to announce the suspect’s Miranda Rights. Generally, the police inform a suspect that he has been arrested. However, many defendants never receive their “Miranda Rights,” which relate to the validity of police questioning of suspects who are in custody, and not to the arrest itself.
What Is The Difference Between A “Terry Stop” And An “Arrest?”
Terry Stop can be made upon reasonable suspicion that a person may have been engaged in a particular activity while arrest requires probable cause that a suspect committed a criminal offence.
Can the Police Arrest Me Without A Warrant?
If the offense was committed in presence of a police officer, the officer can arrest you without warrant. However, officer can arrest on the basis of witness statement in case of felonies.
Probably there can be end number of questions, which can be answered accurately only by expert criminal lawyers. Come out of all criminal law related problems. Ask us for the complete legal assistance and our representative attorney will get in touch with you within 24 hours of your request.
What is Criminal law | Criminal procedure | Civil and Common law | Basic rights