(a) a felony or
(b) a misdemeanor defined in the penal law, and may demand of him his name,
address and an explanation of his conduct.
When upon stopping a person under circumstances prescribed in subdivisions one and
two a police officer or court officer, as the case may be, reasonably suspects that he is in
danger of physical injury, he may search such person for a deadly weapon or any
instrument, article, or substance readily capable of causing serious physical injury and of
a sort not ordinarily carried in public places by law-abiding persons. If he finds such a
weapon or instrument, or any other property possession of which he reasonably believes
may constitute the commission of a crime, he may take it and keep it until the completion
of the questioning, at which time he shall either return it, if lawfully possessed, or arrest
Stop and frisk laws allow an officer to stop a person in a public place based on reasonable
suspicion rather than probable cause, ask questions to determine if the person has committed or
is about to commit an offense, and frisk the person for weapons if the officer has a reasonable
concern for his or her safety (DelCarmen, 120). These stop and frisk laws differ by state, which
is why I wanted to add New York's statute explicitly because it is the state in which we live.
Terry v. Ohio
(1968), a landmark decision that deemed stop and frisk lawful, is one of the
most important cases in police enforcement. In this decision, the Court determined that the
Fourth Amendment did not preclude police from stopping a person they have reasonable
suspicion of having committed a crime and frisking that person if they have reasonable suspicion
that person is armed. Terry v. Ohio
(1968) established the standards for determining a legal stop
and frisk (DelCarmen, 122). A legitimate stop must satisfy two requirements (DelCarmen, 122).