I've been asked a lot of questions lately that revolve around whether a police officer can stop and hold you without actually arresting you. The short answer is…It depends. This is a very good question; typically, the answer depends on the facts of your situation. Generally speaking, if a police officer has a reasonable suspicion that you may be involved in committing a crime that officer may require you identify yourself. If the officer has reason to believe that you are armed and/or dangerous then he/she may conduct a limited type of pat down of your clothes to see if you are carrying any weapons - this is done for the officer's safety. The officer might want to ask you some questions. Keep in mind that you don't have to answer any questions. This is the IMPORTANT part: you have a CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT to NOT answer ANY of the officer's questions. I highly suggest that you exercise this right. At the end of this temporary detention the officer must either arrest you or let you go.
You may have noticed the words in italics. These are what I call, "legally charged words." They are terms of art and they have significant legal meaning. If you have questions about something that has happened to you, a family member or a friend you can contact me through my web site or call me at 817-882-9977 and I'll be glad to help.