Probable Cause Helps to Determine When an Arrest Is Legal
An arrest takes place when police officers believe they should take a suspect into custody. It has officially taken place when the suspect is not able to walk away from the event freely. The Fourth Amendment in the U.S. Constitution authorizes an arrest only if the police officer has "probable cause" that a crime has been committed and the suspect who is under arrest did that crime.
The probable cause scenario limits the power of the police to deprive anyone of their freedom. It stops police from randomly rounding up individuals who appear undesirable.
To support probable cause, the police officers have to be able to pinpoint factual, objective circumstances that provide them with the evidence that a suspect was responsible for committing a crime. A police officer is not able to use probable cause by simply saying, "I just had a hunch that the defendant committed the crime."
It is a judge and not a police officer who has the final word on the existence of probable cause. A police officer could through evidence available decide that there was good enough reason to constitute probable cause. However, if a judge examines the same information, but disagrees, probable cause will not exist.
Sometimes, probable cause to arrest could exist at the time when the arrest took place but later on this may be found not to be the case. If this happens, probable cause will protect the police from a civil suit being filed for false arrest if later on the charges are dismissed or the defendant is acquitted at trial.
There is no firm definition for probable cause
Because probable cause isn’t clearly defined the police don’t really know how much appropriate information is required to support probable cause and whether it is sufficient to convince a judge to start the process of issuing an arrest warrant. Overall, probable cause does require more than just a suspicion that a suspect who has been named committed the crime, but not so much information that the suspects guilt is beyond a reasonable doubt.
Because the Fourth Amendment does not offer an effective definition it is the judge’s job to work on a case by case basis when interpreting probable following an arrest. Judges themselves help to build the meaning of probable cause each time an arrest warrant is issued by them or when they decide on a case when probable cause is the deciding factor in the case.
If you have been arrested and you don’t believe the arresting officer had probable cause to do so you shouldn’t say anything but request to see experienced Miami criminal defense attorney who will help to decide your next course of action. You should contact experienced and dedicated criminal defense lawyer, Albert Quirantes Esq., who will fight to defend you against an unjust charge. You can call his office in Miami at 305-644-1800.
Albert Quirantes: Your Miami Criminal Defense Lawyer & DUI Lawyer
For over 30 years, Miami criminal defense attorney Albert M. Quirantes has been aggressively and zealously defending the rights of those accused of felony and misdemeanor crimesthroughout South Florida. With his dedicated team, reasonable legal fees, and a well-earned reputation for challenging prosecutors at every turn, he has protected over 8,000 clients during some of the roughest times of their lives.
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If you have been arrested and charged with a crime, please call us today at (305) 644-1800 or fill out our online form to arrange for your free, confidential initial consultation.
If you have any questions about this or any other criminal accusation, call Miami Criminal Defense Lawyer Albert Quirantes at: (305) 644-1800 or visit our homepage www.CriminalDefendant.com for a direct link to the office or a text message or a map and directions to our office.