How To Handle Police Interactions
1. VOLUNTARY ENCOUNTER
So, in order for you to be detained, they have to have reasonable suspicion. In order for you to be placed in custody, they need to have even more evidence that you're involved in something.
Ultimately for you to be arrested they have to have established probable cause.
As we go up along this spectrum, your rights increase, and the level of evidence that they need increases.
Very often in a motion to suppress, we're arguing about where on this spectrum a case lies.
Generally speaking, the prosecution wants to move everything to the far end and say it's a voluntary encounter. If it's a voluntary encounter, then the police only need reasonable suspicion, but they don't need any evidence that you did anything.
Likewise, as the defense, we're trying to move things as close to arrest as we can. When that happens, you have increasing constitutional protections and an increased evidentiary burden on the government.