You know what? I will give you a run down on a case stated above So you can really know what happens...
Terry v. Ohio
In October 1963, a “seasoned” Cleveland, OH, police officer, observed J. Terry and R. Chilton standing on a street corner in downtown Cleveland. The two engaged in behavior that the officer believed to be “casing” a store for a “stick up.” A third man “Katz” joined Terry and Chilton for a short time and then left. The officer then followed Terry and Chilton to where they met Katz. The officer then confronted the three men and asked their names. The officer only received a “mumbled” response and he then turned Terry around and “patted” his outer clothing for weapons. Chilton and Katz were also “patted” down.
Terry was found to be in possession of a revolver as was Chilton. Katz was unarmed. Terry and Chilton were charged with carrying concealed weapons. In court, Terry and Chilton asked that the evidence be suppressed, based on the allegation that the search and seizure had been in violation of their 4th Amendment rights.
The prosecution argued that the search was a legal search, “incident to arrest,” which the court rejected. But, the Court did believe that Terry and Chilton had been acting suspiciously, which warranted the officer questioning their actions, and believed that for his safety, believing that Terry and Chilton might be armed, was justified in patting their outer clothing for weapons. Terry and Chilton were convicted.
The appellate court upheld the conviction, and the Ohio Supreme Court dismissed the case, ruling that “no substantial constitutional question” was involved.
The case went to the US Supreme Court and in 1968, after a thorough examination of the case, “held that the Fourth Amendment
prohibition on unreasonable searches and seizures is not violated when a police officer stops a suspect on the street and frisks him without probable cause to arrest, if the police officer has a reasonable suspicion that the person has committed, is committing, or is about to commit a crime and has a reasonable belief that the person “may be armed and presently dangerous.” (392 U.S. 1, at 30.)”
Based on this decision, as long as the criteria described in the decision are met, the Supreme Court allows for officers to legally stop and frisk a person a person’s outer clothing for weapons, which allows for greater officer safety. These “frisks” are now commonly referred to as ‘Terry” frisks or stops.