Can2 male officers pat down a female suspect on site when suspect hasrequested a female officer to do it?

Asked on July 28, 2010 under Criminal Law, Alaska


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor


It is always preferred that a subject of a pat down be checked by an officer of the same sex, however, sometimes out in the field this just isn't practical.  If the safety of the officers was potentially at issue, then if no female was available it was perfectly legal for a male officer to perform a pat down search.

However, what is troubling about all of this is that not 1 but 2 officers did so.  There may or may not have been valid reasons for doing this.  However, if you feel that your rights were violated, you should consult with an attorney to discuss this matter in greater detail.  You may or may not have a claim.   

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