What to Expect When Stopped


This information is not written to provide legal advice. If you have specific legal questions, you should refer to the appropriate legal counsel.

What to Expect When Stopped by Police

Police Officers may stop people who are driving when they observe an offense against the Minnesota Traffic Statutes, city ordinance or any other laws, or if the person or vehicle matches the description of someone in an investigation. Officers may stop people who are driving to ensure compliance with traffic laws and safety standards such as sobriety, possessing a valid driver’s license and insurance, and the mechanical fitness of the vehicle.

Officers may stop pedestrians on the street if they observe an offense, if they are investigating a complaint, or if they believe the person has committed or is about to commit a crime. These interactions usually involve the officer asking for your name, address and identification, and other questions that are appropriate to their investigation.

Officers also routinely walk in their patrol areas and speak to people on the street. These contacts are not considered stops, and the goal is for the officers and the community to become more familiar with one another.

In Saint Peter

Each situation is unique and the police officer will alter his or her approach to fit the circumstances. At all times, police officers must work within the Code of Conduct under the General Orders of the Saint Peter Police Department, and other legislation.

A Saint Peter Police Officer:

  1. Will provide his or her name and badge number upon request
  2. Who is not in uniform will present proper identification; you may ask to examine the badge and photo identification so that you are satisfied the person is a police officer
  3. Will tell you why you are being stopped
  4. Will only use the force allowed by law (for example, to stop an offense, effect the arrest of a suspect or maintain custody of a prisoner)
  5. Will generally arrest a person for a crime committed in the officer's presence, or when the officer has probable cause to believe the person has already committed or is about to commit a crime