Reasonable suspicion is a less demanding standard than probable cause not only in the sense that reasonable suspicion can be established with information that is different in quantity or content than that required to establish probable cause, but also in the sense that reasonable suspicion can arise from information that is less reliable than that required to show probable cause. Reasonable suspicion, like probable cause, is dependent upon both the content of information possessed by police and its degree of reliability. Both factors, quantity and quality, are considered in the totality of the circumstances, the whole picture, that must be taken into account when evaluating whether there is reasonable suspicion.
The State sought review of a judgment holding that officers of Alabama police department did not have the reasonable suspicion necessary to justify an investigatory stop of respondent's car based on an anonymous tip and that marijuana and cocaine seized were fruits of respondent's unconstitutional detention.
Did the police officers have the reasonable suspicion necessary to justify an investigatory stop of respondent’s car?
When the officers stopped respondent, the anonymous tip had been sufficiently corroborated to furnish reasonable suspicion that respondent was engaged in criminal activity. The investigative stop, therefore, did not violate U.S. Const. amend. IV. When significant aspects of the informant's predictions were verified, there was reason to believe that the informant was honest and well-informed.