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What is Probable Cause?

"Probable cause" is a legal concept about which most people have likely heard. However, it has a specific meaning and may not be quite so readily understood. This can leave an individual who has been accused of a crime uncertain whether a search pertaining to his or her arrest was, in fact, legal. Before a police officer can make an arrest or search one's property with a warrant, he or she must have probable cause. This is much more than just a suspicion that an illegal activity occurred. The officer must have some evidence before taking action.

If you have been charged with a crime and the evidence against you may have been improperly obtained, a skilled and experienced criminal defense attorney may be able to have it excluded from consideration in your case. In some instances, this may even lead to the outright dismissal of the charges against you. To learn more, contact Austin criminal defense lawyer Ian Inglis at (512) 472-1950.

What Constitutes Probable Cause?

In order to allow police to perform their essential duties, there are a variety of kinds of information and evidence that may constitute probable cause. Officers do not, however, have reign to loosely interpret probable cause. The following are some examples of probable cause:

  • The officer has a strong belief that a crime took place because of experience or skills and knowledge acquired through training.
  • From observation or information the officer gathered from the scene. This can include anything the officer noticed through sight or smell, as well as reports and statements collected from witnesses.
  • If there is circumstantial evidence present that indicates a fact through inference.

Probable cause can be very important in your case, especially if the officer made an arrest or searched your property without a warrant and without probable cause. If this happened, none of the collected information can be used against you.

Contact Us

Do not delay seeking legal representation if you have been charged with a crime, especially if your arrest may have been made on the basis of improperly obtained evidence. Contact Austin criminal defense attorney Ian Inglis by calling (512) 472-1950 today.


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