Skip to main content

Can an officer pat down my 11 yr old for suspect of a donut theft?

Pine Knot, KY |

Today my son was in a local market. He is a very timid and shy kid and walks around with his hands in his pockets. He is 11 yrs and when he went to pay an officer walked up and ask if he was stealing. He patted my son down and found nothing but the 12 dollars he had to pay for his mt dew and cake. I never even was made aware until my son told me. Is this legal without me being there.

+ Read More

Attorney answers 2


"Pat downs" without an arrest are only permitted when a police officer has articulable suspicion that a crime is or is about to be committed and the "pat down" is limited to items that pose a danger to others such as weapons. Without reading the officer's report or hearing his basis for stopping your son it is difficult to know if the officer acted lawfully or not.


Review the facts with a local criminal defnse attorney for advice. In general, a police officer can conduct a :pat down" search under certain circumstances. This includes a minor without you being present. These facts are questionable.

I am trying to give you a general answer to your question. We do not have an attorney-client relationship by this response on the avvo website. I have not been retained to represent you. I am licensed to practice law in Kentucky and in federal court in this state and the Southern District of Indiana. You need to seek legal advice from an attorney licensed to practice in your area..

Criminal defense topics

Recommended articles about Criminal defense

What others are asking

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer