Frisking

A police officer has the right to frisk the driver and any passengers if she believes her safety is in question during a traffic stop.

Can I be frisked without my consent during a traffic stop?

Yes. A police officer is entitled to "pat down" a driver if he suspects you have weapons concealed on your body.

Is a warrant required for a "stop and frisk"?

No warrant is required for a "stop and frisk" or a weapons search during a traffic stop. If the officer finds drugs or other illegal items on the person frisked, she can immediately make an arrest-no warrant is required.

Example: Typically, a young teenager driving home from school during the day does not pose a threat to an officer, and a "stop and frisk" would probably be illegal. However, it would be proper for an officer to stop and frisk known gang members stopped in a speeding vehicle late at night. In the latter case, the officer can reasonably fear for her safety.