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If it is hot out and the syytem is not running, the freon could still be low if you are checking on the suction side of the system, which is the small port. Now if the system is on and you have that, there is something wrong.
Do you have a standard manifold gauge set that can check both sides? Do you have a multimeter to check for power going to the low pressure switch, the high pressure switch, and then the A/C clutch? This will rule out electrical issues. The manifold set will rule out freon issues.
If you don't have these items, then I suggest having a shop recover the refrigerant, then vacuum the system, and recharge the system to spec. This will make sure you have the correct amount of freon in the system. If that is off a little bit, it will cause the system to not work properly and shut down.
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