reasonable suspicion

noun

Legal Definition of reasonable suspicion

: an objectively justifiable suspicion that is based on specific facts or circumstances and that justifies stopping and sometimes searching (as by frisking) a person thought to be involved in criminal activity at the time — see also reasonable cause at cause sense 2 — compare probable cause at cause sense 2, terry stop

Note: A police officer stopping a person must be able to point to specific facts or circumstances even though the level of suspicion need not rise to that of the belief that is supported by probable cause. A reasonable suspicion is more than a hunch.

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Cite this Entry

“Reasonable suspicion.” Merriam-Webster.com Legal Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/legal/reasonable%20suspicion. Accessed 23 Jul. 2021.

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