If the police say they have probable cause can they arrest you?
02/16/2007 - Criminal - State: NJ #737
If the police say they have probable cause can they arrest you? Can they take your prints? Can they make you come in to the station house?
Probable cause is the level of evidence held by a rational and objective observer necessary to justify logically accusing a specific suspect of a particular crime based upon reliable objective facts. For example, a police officer may claim there is probable cause for attempted theft when someone is found trespassing on private property late at night wearing a stocking mask, in order to justify stopping and searching the person for possession of criminal tools.
It is incumbent upon law enforcement officials to make a thorough investigation and exercise reasonable judgment before invoking the awesome power of arrest and detention, and the standards for evaluating the factual basis supporting a probable cause assessment are not less stringent in a warrantless arrest situation than in a case where a warrant is sought from a judicial officer. The probable cause determination for a warrantless arrest is based upon the information possessed by the officer at the time of the arrest and not by later acquired information.; Probable cause involves probabilities similar to the factual and practical questions of everyday life upon which reasonable and prudent persons act.; It is a pragmatic question to be determined in each case in the light of the particular circumstances and the particular offense involved.
If probable cause existed at the time of the arrest, the fact that investigation proves the person arrested to be innocent does not make the arrest unjustifiable.
In determining probable cause, all the information in the officer's possession, fair inferences from this information, and observations made by the officer, are generally pertinent. In determining the existence of probable cause, facts may be taken into consideration that would not be admissible on the issue of guilt.
Pursuant to the Fourth Amendment, prompt judicial determination of probable cause is required as a prerequisite to extended restraint of liberty following arrest. A judicial determination of probable cause after a warrantless arrest must be made as soon as reasonably possible, but generally no later than forty-eight hours after arrest.
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02/16/2007 - Category: Criminal - State: NJ #737
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