Probable cause is a critical element in every criminal case. Without it, law enforcement officers and prosecutors can have a difficult time entering certain evidence at trial. Understanding probable cause and how it may relate to your case is an important part of knowing where you stand and what your next step should be. If you or a loved one have been charged with a crime, here’s what you need to know about probable cause.
Definition of Probable Cause
By definition, probable cause is evidence that would allow a police officer to pull someone over, search their home, car, or person, or make an arrest. It is evidence that would cause a reasonable person to believe that a crime is being committed. Without probable cause, police generally cannot make an arrest, pull someone over, or search them or their property.
Unreasonable search and seizure is protected by the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution:
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 seized.
Call a Criminal Defense Lawyer Today
At the Law Offices of Tom Kokonowski, Esq., we have a clear understanding of probable cause and how a lack of it can be used in a successful defense. If you’ve been charged with a crime and believe that the police may not have had probable cause to search or seize you, don’t hesitate to contact us today. Call now at 413-585-9200 (Northampton) or 413-549-0022 (Amherst) or (413)737-9700 (Springfield) for an appointment.