stop and frisk

The situation where police officers who are suspicious of an individual run their hands lightly over the suspect's outer garments to determine if the person is carrying a concealed weapon. Also called a "patdown" or "threshold inquiry," a stop and frisk is intended to stop short of any activity that could be considered a violation of Fourth Amendment rights. A police officer has the right to stop and pat down a person suspected of contemplating the commission of a crime. Reasonable suspicion which is sufficient for stop and frisk is more than a mere hunch but less than probable cause. U.S. v. Sokolow, 109 S.Ct. 1581, 104 L.Ed.2d 1.
The scope of the search must be strictly tied to and justified by the circumstances which rendered the initiation of the stop justified. Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1, 88 S.Ct. 1868, 20 L.Ed.2d 889.
See frisk

Black's law dictionary. . 1990.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • stop and frisk — n. The action by a police officer of stopping a person suspected to be armed and dangerous and running his or her hands over the outside of the suspect’s clothing to locate any concealed weapons. The Essential Law Dictionary. Sphinx Publishing,… …   Law dictionary

  • stop and frisk statute — n: a state law that allows a police officer to stop any person without making an arrest based on a reasonable suspicion that the person has committed or is about to commit a crime Merriam Webster’s Dictionary of Law. Merriam Webster. 1996 …   Law dictionary

  • Stop and Identify statutes — “Stop and identify” statutes are laws in the United States that require persons detained under certain circumstances to identify themselves to a police officer. [Although “police officer” is used throughout this article, most “stop and identify”… …   Wikipedia

  • frisk — vt: to run the hand rapidly over the outer clothing of (a suspect) for the purpose of finding concealed weapons compare search ◇ The purpose of frisking a suspect is to insure the safety of an officer making an investigation against concealed… …   Law dictionary

  • stop — 1 vb stopped, stop·ping vt 1: to cause to halt stopped payment 2: to subject to a legal stop vi: to cease activity or motion stop 2 n: an act or inst …   Law dictionary

  • stop — Within statutes requiring a motorist striking a person with automobile to stop, requires a definite cessation of movement for a sufficient length of time for a person of ordinary powers of observation to fully understand the surroundings of the… …   Black's law dictionary

  • Stop — The word stop has several possible meanings in the English language, but most commonly means to cease moving.Additionally, stop can refer to:* STOP Programme (An acronym for Straight Thinking On Probation ) In some jurisdictions, offenders of… …   Wikipedia

  • frisk — Contact of the outer clothing of a person to detect by the sense of touch whether a concealed weapon is being carried. People v. Francis, 1 Dept, 108 A.D.2d 322, 489 N.Y.S.2d 166. A pat down search of a suspect by police, designed to discover… …   Black's law dictionary

  • stop, frisk — n. A police action to momentarily detain and search the body of a person. Under judicial interpretation of the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution, such a search may be conducted only under circumstances where the officer believes… …   Law dictionary

  • investigatory stop — Such stop, which is limited to brief, nonintrusive detention during a frisk for weapons or preliminary questioning, is considered a seizure sufficient to invoke Fourth Amendment safeguards, but because of its less intrusive character requires… …   Black's law dictionary

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