Probable cause is a Fourth Amendment requirement that must be fulfilled before the police can conduct a search, make an arrest, or receive a warrant.
The authorities are allowed to search the premises if there is probable cause or evidence of a crime. Probable cause is then needed to ask a judge to issue a search warrant. When there is reasonable basis for believing that there may have been a crime, it also allows the police to arrest those they deem responsible.
Why is Probable Cause Important?
- It allows police to arrest people or conduct a search without a warrant
Under high-pressure situations, probable cause is important because it can justify a warrantless apprehension or search. The police are given the power to arrest those who they believe may have committed a crime.
The Fourth Amendment necessitates that an arrest be based on probable cause, especially if it was made before a warrant is issued. Those who are arrested without a warrant are then required to be brought before a judge so there is prompt determination of probable cause.
- It can justify an arrest or search based on suspicion alone
When there is a reported crime happening in the area, police are given the power to arrest individuals or conduct searches based on suspicion alone. The authorities may need to think quickly and seize those they believe responsible before anyone is able to escape.
A quick assessment of evidence found at the scene may prompt officers to make arrests on the spot, even without a warrant. Because of the power given to the arresting officers, it is their responsibility to make sure there is always probable cause.
- A citizen’s rights to their person, property, etc., can be seized and held in custody
When you are arrested based on probable cause, your rights as a citizen to your person and property are seized. Probable cause is important because by arresting someone, the police are taking away the rights you have to your person and property. This is all for the pursuance of justice.
- Police can’t detain a suspicious person for more than 48 hours
Another reason why probable cause is imperative is that the police can’t detain a suspected criminal for more than 48 hours if there is no evidence. If an officer has reasonable suspicion, they can hold the suspect for a short period of time.
Probable cause can allow extended detainment while the case is being built. This is vital because it gives the authorities time to find fundamental evidence proving the suspect’s guilt or innocence. If there is no evidence, the police are compelled to release them, because there is a lack of probable cause to keep them detained.
Seek the Help of an Experienced Lawyer
Probable cause is based on the reasonable judgment of both the arresting officers and the court. For justice to be served, police would really need to question those they deem involved. Probable cause is basis for arrest, but it is the evidence that proves an individual’s guilt or innocence.
Do not hesitate to hire the services of an experienced attorney. Your attorney will be able to make sure the police and the court do not take advantage of you. If you have been detained due to probable cause, contact Michael Gottlieb today.