Frisk Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Frisk, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Frisk?

(v) Frisk is the physical searching of the body by touching and feeling the bulges in the covered body to find concealed weapons. A frisk does not require a search warrant.

History and Meaning of Frisk

Frisk is a term commonly used in law enforcement to refer to a physical search of an individual. The purpose of frisk is to identify concealed weapons that could pose a threat to officers or the public. Frisk is also known as a pat-down search.

The concept of frisk originates from the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution. The Fourth Amendment protects individuals from unreasonable searches and seizures. However, the Supreme Court has established that police officers have the right to conduct a limited search of an individual for their own protection.

Examples of Frisk

  1. A police officer pulls over a vehicle for speeding and suspects the driver may be armed. The officer asks the driver to exit the vehicle and proceeds to frisk them to check for weapons.
  2. After receiving a report of an armed individual in a parking lot, a police officer approaches a suspect and asks to frisk them. The frisk reveals a concealed firearm.
  3. During a routine security check at an airport, a TSA agent frisks a passenger before allowing them to board a flight.

Legal Terms Similar to Frisk

  1. Search: An intentional exploration for evidence or contraband by government agents or their representatives.
  2. Seizure: The act of taking possession of property or persons by law enforcement officials.
  3. Probable Cause: A reasonable belief that a crime has been committed or will be committed in a particular location, leading to a search or arrest.