question.jpgIn Criminal Law

What is a seizure?

A person is “seized” within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment, if - considering all the circumstances - the police conduct would have communicated to a reasonable person that the person was not at liberty to ignore the police presence and go about his business, i.e., whether the suspect felt free to leave. If the person does not feel free to leave, then he or she is “seized,” and law enforcement must have at least reasonable suspicion to detain the suspect. A person is not “seized,” however, if a reasonable person would feel free to decline the officer’s requests or otherwise terminate the encounter.