A police officer cannot randomly stop people for questioning.

Michigan Criminal Defense Attorneys - Group

An Officer’s Right to Perform a Stop and Frisk is Not Unlimited

The police may not like it when someone exercises their constitutional rights; however, walking away from the police is not a crime. In United States v. Beauchamp, No. 10-5102 (Oct. 25, 2011), the court ordered the suppression of physical evidence discovered when police officers illegally seized the defendant on the street and obtained his involuntary consent to search. The police initiated the seizure because when they approached the defendant, he “hurriedly walked away without making eye contact.” The officers deemed this conduct to be “suspicious.” The defendant was walking around a fence when a police officer again approached him and exited the patrol car. When the officer requested that the defendant stop and walk around the fence toward him, he complied, appearing nervous.

A frisk uncovered no weapons, but when the officer obtained permission to conduct a more thorough search, he found crack cocaine inside the defendant’s underwear and between his butt cheeks. Under these circumstances, the court found that the defendant was seized when he complied with the police order to stop walking, turn around, and approach the officer, explaining “the fact that Beauchamp first walked away from police before the officers located him and pulled up next to him would suggest to a reasonable person that the officers were targeting Beauchamp and therefore he would not feel free to leave,” and that “a reasonable person in Beauchamp’s position would perceive that the officer’s instructions required compliance and restricted his ability to walk away.”

Walking Away from the Police is Not a Crime

The court found that the seizure was not supported by reasonable suspicion: “Beauchamp’s exercise of his right to walk away—even if the walk was made hurriedly, briskly, or snappily—does not turn his otherwise innocuous behavior into the conduct of a ‘suspicious suspect.’”

Lastly, the court found that the defendant’s consent to search was not voluntary because “Beauchamp gave his “consent” immediately after an officer had placed his hands inside Beauchamp’s butt to conduct the frisk. A scared, defenseless man is not in a position to say “no” to a police officer whose hands are still on or just removed from his body while another officer is standing just a few feet away.

Avoid Jail - Call us Today

Understanding Your Rights: The Importance of Skilled Defense Against Misconduct

In a society where the rule of law is paramount, understanding one’s rights in the face of authority is crucial. The principle that “Walking Away from the Police is Not a Crime” underscores a fundamental right within the legal framework designed to protect individual liberty. However, the reality of legal confrontations, particularly those involving allegations of law enforcement misconduct or overstepping of legal authority, often complicates straightforward legal protections. In these complex and challenging situations, the value of a highly skilled criminal defense lawyer becomes irreplaceable.

The Need for Expert Defense in Cases of Misconduct – Including Arresting Someone for Walking Away from the Police

When facing felony or misdemeanor charges, the stakes cannot be overstated. A conviction can lead to severe consequences, including imprisonment, fines, and a permanent mark on one’s record, affecting future employment, education, and quality of life. The situation becomes even more dire when the charges stem from situations where law enforcement may have engaged in misconduct or exceeded their legal authority.

Law enforcement misconduct can manifest in various forms, including but not limited to unlawful detention, improper conduct during a search and seizure, coercion, or the use of excessive force. In such cases, the evidence against the accused may be flawed or unjustly obtained, making the role of a criminal defense lawyer crucial not only for the defendant’s case but also for upholding the justice system’s integrity.


At LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C., we understand the gravity of your situation and the importance of mounting a vigorous defense against any criminal charges, especially those potentially marred by law enforcement overreach. Our firm stands out for several reasons:

  • Experience and Specialization: Our attorneys specialize in criminal defense, offering a depth of knowledge and expertise that can make a critical difference in the outcome of your case.
  • Strategic Defense: We are committed to developing a comprehensive and tailored defense strategy for each client. Understanding that each case is unique, we delve into the specifics of your situation, exploring every angle and utilizing every legal precedent to protect your rights.
  • Commitment to Clients: Our approach is not just about legal defense; it’s about providing support and guidance through a challenging time. We believe in open communication, keeping you informed and involved at every step of the process.
  • Fighting for Justice: We are dedicated to challenging law enforcement misconduct and ensuring your rights are respected. Our goal is to ensure that the legal system works as it should, holding those in power accountable for their actions.

The importance of having a knowledgeable and experienced criminal defense lawyer cannot be overstressed, especially in cases where the legitimacy of law enforcement’s actions might be in question, including arresting someone for walking away from the police. At Michigan’s premier criminal defense law firm, LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C., we are committed to defending your rights and ensuring that justice is served, providing a bulwark against the misuse of legal authority. If you or someone you know is facing criminal charges, especially under circumstances involving potential law enforcement misconduct, contact us to learn how we can help you navigate this challenging time and fight for the best possible outcome.

Michigan Criminal Defense Attorney

Michigan Criminal Defense Attorneys

The Defense Team with LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. has an unparalleled track record of successfully defending clients in state and federal court who are charged with felony and misdemeanor offenses. If you or a loved one is charged with or accused of committing a crime in Michigan, call us for a free consultation. We will find a way to help you! When you hire LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.LC., you can expect the following:

  • Extensive experience in criminal defense
  • Expertise in constitutional law
  • Proven track record of handling cases involving police misconduct
  • Strong investigative skills
  • Excellent negotiation abilities
  • Aggressive litigation strategy
  • Detail-oriented approach
  • High ethical standards
  • Effective communication skills
  • Commitment to client confidentiality and trust

Call us today at (248) 263-6800 for a free consultation or complete an online Request for Assistance Form. We will contact you promptly and find a way to help you.

We will find a way to help you and, most importantly,
we are not afraid to win!

Contact Us - Michigan Criminal Defense Attorneys