Loitering and prowling are the acts of standing around idly or hanging around an area with no apparent purpose. Individuals seen loitering may be reported by other citizens and stopped by police and questioned. Loiterers may be let go without any consequences or with just a warning if the police officer judges that they do not pose a threat to people or property. If a loiterer is believed to compromise the safety of the area, or if they attempt to run from police, they may be arrested for loitering and prowling.
If you are stopped by police on suspicion of loitering and prowling, do not try to run away from the police. Running away gives police reasonable cause to arrest you without a warrant. In some tragic cases, individuals have been shot and killed when running away to evade arrest. Your best option is instead to remain where you are, though you are not required to disclose information to the police.
You may be arrested for loitering and prowling if you refuse to identify yourself, do not explain why you are in the area, or if the police believe that you pose a threat to people or property in the area. If you face loitering and prowling charges, remember that you have the right to speak to an lawyer and prepare your defense for court.
A criminal defense attorney can review the details of your arrest and look for a breach in the arrest procedure as evidence that your case should be thrown out. If there is no evidence of intent to commit a crime, the charges against you could be dropped.