Search and Seizure

In a recent Massachusetts Appeals Court case involving an arrest without a warrant, the Court reaffirmed that when a police officer yells at someone to “stop,” the police officer has “seized” that person, and therefor must have reasonable suspicion that the person has committed, is committing, or is about to commit a crime.

In the case, Commonwealth v. Colon (2015), the police officer saw the defendant at nighttime in a high-crime area, talking with a group of men, one of whom was known to the officer as a person involved in crime.  The area was a high-crime area with a history of illegal firearms being found.  In addition, the defendant immediately walked away when he saw the police, and he repeatedly looked back at the police as he adjusted a bulge at his waist under his shirt.

The Appeals Court concluded that although by yelling “stop,” the officer had seized the defendant in a Constitutional sense, nevertheless that seizure was lawful because the officer had reasonable suspicion that the defendant was illegally in possession of a firearm.

Attorney Quinlan – Uxbridge

Attorney Quinlan handles cases involving illegal possession of firearms or improper storage of firearms as well as FID suspension or denial cases and license to carry (LTC) cases in Worcester County.

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