BREACHES OF THE PEACE AND RELATED OFFENSES
644:6 Loitering or Prowling.
I. A person commits a violation if he knowingly appears at a place, or at a time, under circumstances that warrant alarm for the safety of persons or property in the vicinity. Circumstances which may be considered in determining whether such alarm is warranted include, but are not limited to, when the actor:
(a) Takes flight upon appearance of a law enforcement official or upon questioning by such an official.
(b) Manifestly endeavors to conceal himself or any object.
(c) Has in his possession tools or other property which would lead a reasonable person to believe a crime was about to be perpetrated.
(d) Examines entrances to a structure which the actor has no authority or legitimate purpose to enter.
II. Prior to any arrest under this section, unless flight or other circumstances make it impossible, a law enforcement official shall afford the actor the opportunity to dispel any alarm which would otherwise be warranted, by requesting him to identify himself and give an account for his presence and conduct. Failure to identify or account for oneself, absent other circumstances, however, shall not be grounds for arrest.
III. No person shall be convicted under this section if the law enforcement official did not comply with paragraph II or if it appears at trial that the explanation he gave of his conduct and purposes was true and, if believed by the law enforcement official at the time, would have dispelled the alarm. In such cases, any record of the arrest made under authority of paragraph I shall be expunged.
IV. In this section, "entrances" means any part of a structure through which entry or egress could be made.
Source. 1971, 518:1. 1985, 255:1, eff. Jan. 1, 1986.