Examples of Circumstances That Might Indicate a Police Seizure
In United States v. Mendenhall, 446 U.S. 544, 100 S. Ct. 1870, 64 L. Ed. 2d 497 (1980), the United States Supreme Court articulated the standard for determining whether a seizure has occurred:
A person has been "seized" within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment only if, in view of all the circumstances surrounding the incident, a reasonable person would have believed that he was not free to leave.
Examples of circumstances that might indicate a seizure, even though the person did not attempt to leave, would be the threatening presence of several officers, the display of a weapon by an officer, some physical touching of the person of the citizen, or the use of language or tone of voice indicating that compliance with the officer's request might be compelled. 446 U.S. at 554.
In California v. Hodari D., 499 U.S. 621, 111 S. Ct. 1547, 113 L. Ed. 2d 690 (1991) the Court also held that in addition to circumstances indicating that a reasonable person would not feel free to leave, the person must either (a) in fact be physically subdued by the officer, or (b) submit to the officer's show of authority. See 499 U.S. at 626.