Law enforcement officers are tasked with keeping neighborhoods safe. To do this, they are assigned various legal powers. For instance, they may conduct traffic stops, and search individuals and their properties. Nonetheless, they cannot do this randomly.
Generally, to stop your vehicle or approach you on the street or at home for questioning, police officers must have reasonable suspicion. This means that they must suspect that an offense has been committed. What types of behavior might law enforcement find suspicious?
While this may come as a surprise, simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time can attract the attention of law enforcement. For instance, if an individual is standing outside of a highly secured building for an extended period. For example, a bank or store that contains highly valuable goods.
Loitering is a crime in Texas, but the criteria for this offense are quite specific and laws can vary between jurisdictions. Individuals approached by law enforcement should be given the opportunity to identify themselves and disperse upon request before an arrest takes place.
High levels of movement
Another type of behavior that may attract the attention of law enforcement is high volumes of people coming and going from a residence, particularly at night time. While this is not a criminal offense in itself, law enforcement may be keen to know what’s going on in such a situation.
The line between “acting suspiciously” and committing an actual criminal offense can be thin, and law enforcement officers must get it right. If you’re facing unjustified criminal charges, it’s vital that you seek legal guidance at the earliest opportunity.