Generally someone is considered to be seized by the police if objectively a person would not feel free to leave. The confusion that sometimes occurs with this topic is that the standard is not whether the particular person believes he is seized, but rather considering all the circumstances would the average person feel he was not free to leave. A seizure by police may occur generally in one of two ways, either by physical force to restrain movement or by submission to the assertion of authority. Seizure by physical force is fairly straightforward – it occurs when the police physically touch someone in order to restrain their freedom. A seizure by submission occurs generally when the police tell someone to stop and the person in turn does so. However just because police tell someone to stop does not mean they are seized because if they ignore the command and walk away then they will not be considered seized.

The legal significance of the moment of a seizure is important because is at that time that certain rights begin to apply. Once someone is seized or arrested by police the police may search that person as a search incident to arrest or to search for weapons without any further justification. Additionally if police wish to question someone after an arrest has occurred the police must give Miranda rights. These are general guidelines that will apply in most situations, however just as with any subject in the law there may be exceptions that could apply.

If you should find yourself in a situation where you have been charged with a crime you need to contact an attorney who has the experience and knowledge necessary to handle your case with the care it deserves. For a private, confidential consultation with one of our experienced DWI lawyers, please call 704-499-9000 or toll-free 877-374-5999 anytime. Visit our main page here.