Probable Cause means exactly what it says - is it probable that something occured, or stated differently, is it more likely than not that there is cause to search a home or to arrest someone?
While fairly easy to define, the determination of legal Probable Cause in any particular case depends on the facts and circumstances of the case. Georgia criminal law attorneys can help a client argue to the court that probable cause did not exist in their case.
Probable Cause comes into play in several situations in criminal cases:
1. Arrest Warrants – A magistrate judge must find probable cause exists to issue a warrant for someone’s arrest.
2. Search Warrants – Again, a magistrage must find that it is more probable than not that criminal activity is occurring.
3. Circumstances That Do Not Require a Warrant – For example, if police observe someone walk into a known drughouse and walks out with a cellophane wrapped package, the police might then have probable cause to stop and potentially arrest that person.
The issue of Probable Cause comes up frequently in Georgia DUI Arrests. For example,once the officer has observed a driving violation and the driver submitted to roadside sobriety testing, the issue becomes whether or not the officer had Probable Cause to arrest the person for DUI / DWI.
It is important to understand that the Reasonable Articulable Suspicion for the initial stop is not the same as probable cause to arrest. The threshold for what constitutes a Reasonable Suspicion is less than the threshold for what constitutes legal Probable Cause in Georgia.
About the attorney: Anne Bishop is a Georgia lawyer with A. Bishop Law in Gainesville, Georgia and handles various DUI / DWI, Marijuana Arrests and other Georgia Criminal Defense matters. The law office of A. Bishop Law can assist clients throughout Georgia including: Hall County (Gainesville, Oakwood, Flowery Branch), Jackson County (Jefferson, Braselton) White County (Helen, Cleveland), Lumpkin County (Dahlonega), Dawson County (Dawsonville), Habersham County (Demorest, Cornelia), and all of Northeast Georgia.
This article and/or video should not be considered nor relied upon as legal advice since it is only intended for general overview and informational purposes. Please consult with an attorney on your specific situation in order to determine an appropriate legal course of action.