May a law enforcement officer detain you without arresting you?
Based upon reasonable suspicion that you may be involved in criminal activity a police officer may require you to identify yourself and explain your presence at a particular time, without arresting you. The officer may not remove you from the immediate vicinity without making an arrest unless you voluntarily accompany him to some other location.
If the officer has reasonable grounds to believe that you are armed and/or that you may be dangerous to yourself or others, he may conduct a limited pat-down of your outer garments for the purpose of detecting weapons. If this “frisk” results in reasonable belief on the part of the officer that you are carrying a weapon, he may remove the suspicious object for the purpose of protecting himself. The officer must return to you any lawful object he finds unless he places you under arrest. Unless you are under arrest, his frisk or search must be limited to suspected weapons.
The officer may want to ask you some questions in order to complete his investigation report. You have a constitutional right to not answer them.
If you should enter a retail establishment where goods are placed on display and for sale, the merchant or his employees may detain you on the premises for a reasonable time for questioning if they have probable cause to believe that you have stolen or have attempted to steal goods for sale. Under such circumstances a police officer called to the scene may make an arrest for shoplifting even though the alleged offense was not committed in his presence.
The legal process in Florence, Kentucky can be overwhelming, which is why we at Busald Funk Zevely are here to help. Contact one of our experienced attorneys to champion your court case and protect your rights.