Reasonable suspicion is a standard that police must meet in order to detain someone for questioning. This includes being able to frisk a suspect’s outer clothing to detect any weapons.
Totality of Circumstances
Police do not need hard evidence to establish reasonable suspicion; rather, they can use any circumstances leading up to the initial stop or detention in Oklahoma—such as dropping an object that looks suspicious or running from police in an area that is known to have high crime—to form their basis. This is known as the totality of circumstances and is something that a good defense attorney can challenge in court.
“Am I Free to Go?”
While an officer may legally detain you, you are under no obligation to answer any of his or her questions. In fact, it is in your best interest to remain silent as any answer you may give could be used against you.
Unless the officer arrests you, you should be allowed to leave the scene. However, you may need to ask the officer plainly if he or she intends to hold you or if you are free to go.
Requesting a Lawyer
If the officer does not let you go, it is in your best interest to advise him or her that you will be remaining silent and that you would like to speak to a lawyer.