Probable cause is the standard of proof used by law enforcement to make an arrest, conduct a search, or perform a seizure.
This prevents police from arresting a person for no reason or because they think a person “looks guilty.”
Instead, there must be probable cause showing that a criminal offense has been committed.
It is also used by prosecutors in order to bring criminal charges against a defendant.
Facts or evidence which can bring a reasonable person to believe a suspect has committed a crime
If you are arrested for any type of crime, remain silent, and cooperate with police.
Some of the facts or evidence which can bring a reasonable person to believe a suspect has committed a crime in Texas include:
- Observation of suspicious and potentially criminal behavior — Certain behaviors may be suspicious and straddle the line of legality, thus indicating that a crime has been committed.
- Officer’s experience in elements of criminal activity — An experienced officer may have reason to believe that a crime is underway in a public place. In situations such as this, based on the precedent set in Terry v Ohio, if an officer suspects an individual of engaging in criminal activity, they may conduct a limited search of the suspect’s outer clothing for weapons which may be used against the officer.
- Statements given and information collected by witnesses and informants — Information of criminal activity provided by witnesses and confidential informants can be integral to arresting a suspect.
- Circumstantial evidence which may imply guilt, but which does not prove it — Circumstantial evidence can lead law enforcement to investigate and uncover further evidence that a crime has been committed.
It is important to understand that you have certain inalienable rights.
To ensure these rights are protected however, you must retain the services of a competent criminal law attorney.
Depending on the circumstances of your case, your lawyer may be able to show that your arrest was unlawful and the charges against you should be reduced or dropped altogether.
Kingwood criminal law attorney helps you build a strong defense
The Law Office of Andrew J. Williams is committed to protecting the rights of Texans facing criminal prosecution throughout the northeast Harris County area.
For more information about our services or to schedule a free initial consultation with an experience criminal defense lawyer, contact our firm online or call 281-358-9111.