What is Probable Cause

“Probable cause” is an important term when talking about arrests and searches. In many cases, the police will need a warrant to conduct a search of a person or property. However, there are times when arrests and searches can be made when an officer has probable cause. So, what is probable cause?

Under probable cause, police officers must have more than simple suspicion. They must be able to point to specific, objective reasons as to why they believe:

  • A person has committed a crime
  • An area was the scene of a crime or has evidence for a crime
  • An item is contraband, evidence, or stolen property.

Here are some examples of probable cause:

  • Drug paraphernalia or other evidence in plain sight.
  • A person matches the description given of a criminal.
  • Property matches the description given of stolen goods.

Since there’s no firm definition for probable cause, it can be easy for police and prosecutors to infringe upon rights. If you feel like you have been searched, arrested, or charged without probable cause, contact Tyler Allen Law Firm today at (602)456-0545.

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