“Probable Cause”: What Does It Mean?

There are many terms thrown around in the legal “biz” that confuse ordinary people. One of these terms is “probable cause.” What is “probable cause” in Pennsylvania and what does having it entitle the authorities to do?

“Probable cause” is defined as “facts available to the officers at the moment of the arrest which ‘would warrant a man of reasonable caution in the belief’ that the individual arrested has committed an offense,” as well as there being contraband, or weapons, or evidence on a premises or in the possession of an individual.

“Probable cause,” as can be seen above, is very fact dependent and depends on a determination as to whether a prudent person acting on a “totality of the circumstances” existing at the time would believe something illegal occurred. Further, the belief must be based on something specific and “articulable,” not a mere hunch or suspicion.

If you have been arrested based upon “probable cause,” you require an experienced criminal defense team to help. The criminal defense team at Prince Law Offices stands ready to aid you should you need us.

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