Browse:  A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W Y Z
     
Enter a Legal Term

Search the Definitions

probable cause

n. sufficient reason based upon known facts to believe a crime has been committed or that certain property is connected with a crime. Probable cause must exist for a law enforcement officer to make an arrest without a warrant, search without a warrant, or seize property in the belief the items were evidence of a crime. While some cases are easy (pistols and illicit drugs in plain sight, gunshots, a suspect running from a liquor store with a clerk screaming "help"), actions "typical" of drug dealers, burglars, prostitutes, thieves, or people with guilt "written across their faces," are more difficult to categorize. "Probable cause" is often subjective, but if the police officer's belief or even hunch was correct, finding stolen goods, the hidden weapon or drugs may be claimed as self-fulfilling proof of probable cause. Technically, probable cause has to exist prior to arrest, search or seizure.

See also: Bill of Rights  search  search and seizure 

From the Law.com Newswire



The People's Law Dictionary by Gerald and Kathleen Hill Publisher Fine Communications

FEATURED FIRMS

The Law Firm Of Jonathan C. Reiter
350 5th Ave
New York, NY 10118
212-736-0979
Ronaldson & Kuchler
205 W Upper Wacker Dr #1615
Chicago, IL 60606
312- 425-2600
O'Malley & Langan PC
201 Franklin Ave
Scranton, PA 18503
570-344-2667
omalleylangan.com
Coplan & Crane
70 W Madison St, Suite 1400
Chicago, IL 60602
800-394-6002

Presented By Big Voodoo