Many folks wonder aloud to SQ Attorneys – What in the pray tell is a “Terry stop”? To that end, here is the answer. In short, it is a police-civilian contact that involves the stop and limited detention of an individual. Such contacts are authorized under law for purposes of investigation; they occur when an officer has reasonable suspicion to believe that an individual is engaging in, has engaged in, or is about to engage in criminal activity. During the course of a Terry stop, an officer may develop probable cause to effect an arrest, but probable cause is not required to make the initial stop/ contact. It is believed by ‘the powers that be’ that investigative stops – when supported by reasonable suspicion (a.k.a, Terry stops) – are a useful tool to address potential criminal activity.
In an effort to exude transparency, the Seattle Police Department continually releases its Terry stop data to its Portal. See https://www.seattle.gov/police/information-and-data/terry-stops . The Department’s policies regarding arrests, and search and seizures are collectively published in Title 6 of the SPD Manual, and SPD requirements for conducting and documenting Terry stops are specifically outlined in Section 6.220 of the Manual.
If you or a loved one is facing a criminal charge, don’t hesitate to hire a qualified Seattle Criminal Defense Lawyer. The Seattle Criminal Defense Attorneys that make up the criminal defense team of SQ Attorneys are highly qualified and reputable Seattle criminal attorneys that are dedicated to providing top notch, aggressive representation for those arrested or charged for crime all across Western Washington and the Greater Puget Sound region. The team creates success by working with law enforcement and the prosecuting attorney’s office to ensure that all facts and circumstances related to the allegations are considered in creating the fairest, most equitable and just resolution possible in light of all the surrounding circumstances of the given case. So, whether you are cited with an infraction or arrested and/or charged with misdemeanor, gross misdemeanor or a felony, protect yourself … call SQ Attorneys at (206) 441-0900.