Frisk: “Terry” stop and “Plain Feel” doctrine:
Law enforcement officers or agents are permitted lawfully to temporarily detain an individual and conduct a pat-down search if there exists reasonable suspicion that the person is armed and dangerous or that criminal activity is occurring. The length of the detention or stop must be brief, and the extent of the search must be limited, generally to a pat-down. If, however, during the limited pat-down search, law enforcement officers feel an object which is clearly contraband, the officers may conduct a further search of the item and, potentially seize that item, under what is called the “plain feel” doctrine. The searches, authorized by the United States Supreme Court in a case called Terry v. Ohio, are commonly referred to as a “Terry Stop,” a “Terry Frisk,” a “stop and frisk,” and a “pat-down.” Frequently, these searches may be challenged in Court, and any evidence obtained in an unlawful searched ruled inadmissible in Court. If you or someone you know has been subject to a “Terry Stop,” contact RAAB | MAHONEY immediately for a consultation and evaluation whether the police search was legal under the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution.