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What Does An Officer Need To Have To Conduct An Investigative Detention?

In the last 50 years, there has been a number of substantial cases issued by the United States Supreme Court that effected criminal jurisprudence. The case that started it all was Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1 (1968). In this case, an officer was patrolling downtown Cleveland when two men, Chilton and Terry caught his attention. The two men appeared to be scoping out several different downtown stores. The officer believed that the two were planning to commit a daytime burglary.

The officer approached the two men (who were with another man at this point) and asked them their names. The men "mumbled" something. At this point, the officer conducted a search of Terry's person. he found a .38-caliber revolver on Terry.

The Supreme Court discussed what we recently discussed--whether the officer seized terry and whether he conducted a search that triggered Fourth Amendment protection. The Court noted that a seizure occurs whenever a police officer "accosts" an individual and restrains his freedom to walk away. However, to justify a search a police officer must point to "specific and articulable facts which, taken together with rational inferences from those facts, reasonably warrant that intrusion."

Stay tuned as we continue to evaluate and discuss how Terry v. Ohio allows for the police to conduct an investigative detention. If you have been charged with possession of a controlled substance, contact a Plano drug crimes attorney.