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What is probable cause for arrest, search and seizure?

When you are facing drug charges, you will hear a variety of terms regarding your case. One of these terms is probable cause. Probable cause is one concept that can have a huge impact on your case. It is necessary for you to understand some points about probable cause if you are facing criminal charges.

What is probable cause?

Probable cause describes what is required for police to arrest you, conduct a search or seize property. In each of those cases, the police officer must have probable cause if there isn't a warrant for the action he or she is taking. Essentially, probable cause means that there is evidence or valid reasons to believe that the person who is being targeted committed the crime of which they are being accused.

Where does the probable cause requirement come from?

The need to have probable cause for a search, seizure or arrest is found in the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution. It notes that probable cause using oath or affirmation can be a substitute for a warrant in some cases.

Are there any other times when probable cause is necessary?

When police officers go to obtain a warrant, they must sign a sworn statement that they have probable cause to believe that person did commit, is committing or will commit the crime that is at the center of the case.

Probable cause can play a big part in your defense because if there wasn't a warrant or probable cause for your arrest, search or seizure, that might be an element to use in your defense.

Source: FindLaw, "Probable Cause," accessed Jan. 28, 2016

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