Under the US Constitution, 4th Amendment, a person cannot be subject to arrest without “Probable Cause”

“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be searched.”

US Consitituiton 4th Amendment

Courts usually find probable cause when there is a reasonable basis for believing that a crime may have been committed (for an arrest) or when evidence of the crime is present in the place to be searched (for a search). Under urgent circumstances, probable cause can also justify a warrantless search or seizure.

The Probable Cause standard does not require proof beyond a reasonable doubt. It is more than a reasonable suspicion, but could be less than the preponderance of the evidence standard in civil court. The preponderance of the evidence standard means that a fact is more likely than not to be true. That leaves some significant leeway in determining Probable Cause when preparing for a criminal trial.

If the courts cannot provide adequate Probable Cause, Criminal Cases can be thrown out. If it can be proven that evidence was gathered without probable cause, that evidence can be thrown out, and cannot be used in court.

As always, every situation is unique.  Everyone’s situation is different, and this is not intended as legal advice.  Please, speak to a criminal attorney prior to making any decisions, especially decisions based on a simple blog post.   T

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