You can only be arrested for a crime when there is something known as ‘probable cause.’ You may have heard of this concept on crime shows, but might not understand what it means or how it works. Probable cause are the circumstances that lead the police to believe that you, the suspect, has actually committed a crime. Can a police officer actually prove that you committed a crime?
A Variety of Ways Probable Cause Comes Into Play
There are many different ways that probable cause plays a role in our modern times. This deals with warrants, arrest, searching, and seizing property. We will discuss each of these today.
Warrants: When a police officer asks for a warrant, they face the judge and state facts that lead them to believe that you have committed a crime and that probable cause exists. If the judge agrees, they will allow the warrant for your arrest or to a search. The only time that probable cause does not have to exist is when a police officer watched you commit a crime in public. If it was witnessed, they have the right to arrest you.
Arrest: Specific facts will show if there is enough probable cause to make an arrest. For instance, a police officer isn’t allowed to just arrest you based on suspicion alone. Facts must back this up.
Search: If a police officer is met with facts and probable cause that show a crime took place, they might have enough cause to search a residence. This has to be specified within the warrant.
Seize Property: If somebody has probable cause to believe that an item was stolen, is contraband, or constitutes evidence of a crime, the property can then be seized. The police will only be allowed to search for the items that are named in the warrant, of course.
Do you believe that you have been arrested and the demands of probable cause have not been met? Do you believe that a search that took place was unjust and now you are suffering the effects of this? We want to speak with you about your case. Give us a call at the Law Office of Peter Blair today for more information.