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A term used in Criminal Law to refer to the superficial running of the hands over the body of an individual by a law enforcement agent or official in order to determine whether such individual is holding an illegal object, such as a weapon or narcotics. A frisk is distinguishable from a search, which is a more extensive examination of an individual.


Stop and Frisk.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


v. quickly patting down the clothes of a possible criminal suspect to determine if there is a concealed weapon. This police action is generally considered legal (constitutional) without a search warrant. Generally it is preferred that women officers frisk women and men officers frisk men.

Copyright © 1981-2005 by Gerald N. Hill and Kathleen T. Hill. All Right reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Smartly uniformed, made-up, coifed and stockinged salesladies, charming to boot, being frisked by women guards: There is almost an oxymoronic look to it.
The Pakistan Prime Minister was frisked at the John F.
'She was frisked and they touched her butt even if she already showed her empty pocket,' the girl's mother said.
The lawsuit had been brought by two New York City residents -- Clive Lino and Daryl Khan -- who had been stopped and frisked by police officers but were cleared of any wrongdoing.
(56) Finally, the dissent's rule would discourage cooperative, compliant behavior, as the citizen who stays to answer an officer's questions risks being frisked, whereas the one who simply walks away does not.
About two years ago, there was a newspaper article quoting a former NYPD official suggesting that officers needed to "[s]ell the stop" to explain, nicely, to the victim after the fact why he or she was stopped and frisked. (128) In 2009, the NYPD created an explanatory stop-and-frisk card for officers to give out to those they stopped and frisked.
This was the second time when Kalam was frisked by US authorities.
Last week, there was uproar after Abdul Kalam, a former Indian president, was frisked by personnel of US carrier Continental Airlines in New Delhi before being allowed to board a US-bound flight.
An anonymous caller reported that "a young black male standing at a particular bus stop and wearing a plaid shirt was carrying a gun."(20) The police went to the bus stop, spotted a suspect who met the description, and frisked him, finding a gun.
Advertising executive Yvette Bradley was frisked after returning from a holiday in Jamaica along with seven of eight black women on the return flight, while many white passengers disembarking at the same time were waived through customs.
The actual holding of the case, however, indicates that the Court intended to confine the power to "stop" to situations which clearly call for investigation of criminally suspicious circumstances and the power of "frisk" to situations where there is a probability that the person to be frisked or searched is armed and may bc dangerous to the officer or other citizens.
Before me, many bikers were frisked by policemen in the middle of the road,' he added.