Probable Cause and Reasonable suspicion?

James Baird jlbaird3 at
Tue Oct 3 14:31:27 PDT 2000

> In the 60's in the case of Terry that Justin
> mentioned, the Supreme Court held that an officer
> who had stopped and frisked someone for a gun did
> not violate the Constitutional requirement , even
> though the officer only had a reasonable suspicion
> that the person had a gun and not full probable
> cause.
> They are word formulas, giving something of an
> illusion of objectivity, as the basis of standards
> of conduct.

Doesn't it have something to do with the invasiveness of the search, i.e. a pat-down only needs "reasonable suspicion" while going through the pockets requires "probable cause"?

Jim Baird

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