Speak Up! - View Question #576
printer friendly version
Question: Can an officer pat me down even if he knows I don't have a weapon?
Answer: An officer can pat down (or search) a person, even if the officer knows the person doesn't have a weapon, if the person agrees to the search (consents) or if the officer has a reason to arrest the person.
If the officer is just investigating a crime, and asking a person questions about the crime, the officer cannot search the person unless the officer has reason to believe that the person has a weapon on their person (this is called the Terry stop/search. During a Terry stop, an officer would not be able to search a person if the officer knew that the person did not have a weapon.
If a child is caught with a gun and they aren't with their parents and don't have the consent of the parents, then the gun will be taken away and it is a felony crime.