What is Probable Cause?

January 1, 2017 | By Shane Phelps Law
What is Probable Cause?

If you have been arrested or charged with a criminal offense in Texas, then the legal concept of probable cause should be one of your concerns when developing a defense strategy with your attorney. In many cases, law enforcement officials are prohibited from taking action without first establishing probable cause. It is imperative to have a comprehensive understanding of the laws and legal process in regards to a search, an arrest, or a criminal charge.

What Constitutes as Probable Cause?

Police officers need to obtain a certain amount of evidence, such a probable cause, to make an arrest, search or seize property or charge a suspect with a criminal offense.

It must be reasonable for law enforcement to believe the following:

  • A crime was committed by the person subject to arrest
  • There is probable cause to believe a crime was committed at the location to subject to a search
  • The location to be searched contains evidence or contraband associated with a crime

The legal concept of probable cause can be found in the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. This amendment grants you the right to be secure in your person, house and effects, protecting you from unreasonable searches and seizures. In order for a warrant to be issued by the court, probable cause must be established. Failure to demonstrate probable cause can lead to the dismissal of evidence and even criminal charges.

If you believe the arresting officer lacked probable cause upon your arrest in Texas, The Law Offices of Shane Phelps is ready to protect your rights, reputation, and freedom from criminal persecution. Contact our College Station criminal defense attorney and request a free consultation today.