The Arizona Supreme Court recently ruled that a lawful investigative stop under Terry v. Ohio can become a de facto arrest under certain circumstances. In State v. Boteo-Flores the defendant was detained as a suspect in a stolen car case. Officers detained Boteo-Flores for thirty to forty minutes in handcuffs awaiting detectives to interrogate him.
Terry v. Ohio allows officers to briefly detain an individual who they have reasonable suspicion to believe is involved in a crime. However, the Arizona Supreme Court found that the initial detention of Boteo-Flores was justified but found that a valid Terry stop can become a de facto arrest or illegal arrest.
The Supreme Court noted that the detaining officer was justified in handcuffing Boteo-Flores because the officer was alone and did not know if Boteo-Flores was armed. The Supreme Court eventually found a de facto arrest because “the continued use of handcuffs when there was no ongoing safety threats or flight risk transformed the valid Terry stop into a de facto arrest.” State v. Bohto-Flores, CR2011-0180. An investigatory detention when there was no ongoing safety threats or flight risk transformed the valid Terry stop into a de facto arrest.” State v. Boteo-Flores, CR2011-0180. An investigatory detention must be reasonable given the totality of the circumstances and the detention must be temporary and last no longer than is necessary to effectuate the purpose of the stop. Florida v. Royer, 460 U.S. 491, 500 (1983). The use of handcuff does not transform a Terry stop into a de facto arrest but the prolonged use of handcuffs when the suspects does not pose a safety threat or flight risk suggest a de facto arrest.
If you have been arrested and believe that your rights were violated by the police contact the Law Office of Gonzales and Poirier at 928-774-5400 or toll free at 855-774-5400 and ask to speak with Matt, Tony or Daniel.