What Is Probable Cause in New Jersey?

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It is important to understand that a police officer cannot make an arrest without reasonable suspicion that an individual has committed a crime. Read on, and reach out to our experienced New Jersey criminal defense lawyers to learn more about probable cause.

What is probable cause and how is it established?

You will want to keep in mind that probable cause is the key issue in the arrest process. This is because police need this to make an arrest or obtain an arrest warrant from a judge.

In order to prove probable cause, police officers must be able to display real events pointing them to believe that a suspect committed a crime. A police officer cannot establish probable cause by simply stating that he or she just had a suspicion that the defendant was a burglar, as there is no sufficient basis behind that claim.

Recognize that judges, not police officers, have the last word on whether probable cause exists. A police officer may be honest in acknowledging that the facts establish probable cause. However, if a judge looks at that same information and disagrees, then probable cause does not exist, or never did exist if the question is being decided after an arrest.

Note that probable cause may have existed at the time of an arrest even if the defendant did not really do anything wrong. Basically, an arrest is proper as long as it is established on probable cause, even if the arrested person is innocent.

Do not hesitate to give our firm a call today if you have questions or concerns about this, or if you would like to discuss the details of your case and your options.

How much information is required to persuade a court or judge of probable cause?

The most common question asked is how much information do police officers need to convince a judge to issue an arrest warrant or to justify a warrantless arrest? Most of the time, probable cause requires more than a mere suspicion that a suspect committed a crime, but not as much information as would be required to prove the suspect guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Because probable cause is an abstract concept, a firm definition of it is elusive. Courts have to choose case by case whether there is or was probable cause for an arrest. Reach out to our firm today to learn more. Our experienced criminal defense attorneys are on your side no matter what you are facing.

Contact our Firm

The dedicated and compassionate attorneys at Vigilante Law Firm, P.C. would be happy to provide you with assistance in your case and help you protect your future when so much is on the line. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

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