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Criminal Law Assignment: Probable Cause
Criminal Law Essay: Probable Cause
In criminal law, reasonable cause refers to the reasonable ground or basis to believe that a crime has been committed, is being carried out, or is about to be committed and hence the need to perform a search, make an arrest, or press a charge. It is also a legal Constitutional requirement under the Fourth Amendment which law enforcement officers have to meet or comply with before they can make an arrest or conduct a search on a property or individual. It is also required that before the police can request for or receive a warrant from a magistrate or judge, they must prove that there is probable cause. According to FindLaw, probable cause is the requirement in criminal law for the law enforcement officers to possess an adequate reason to seize property, conduct a search, or arrest an individual in connection with an alleged crime (Online). In Beck v. Ohio (1964), the court stated that probable cause exists where there is the existence of circumstances and facts within a law enforcement officer’s knowledge and based on information that is reasonably trustworthy which a prudent person would be warranted to believe that a suspect has committed a crime. In a nut shell, as surmised in Bringer v. United States (1949), probable cause is a reasonable ground for believing that an individual is guilty of a crime.
In relation to arrest, courts have held that probable cause must be based on specific circumstances or facts known to a police officer based on their experience and skills and should not be based on mere suspicion or hunch by the law enforcement officer. The facts and circumstances within the knowledge of the officer have to be such that any other reasonable person in the police officer’s place would be led to believe that a crime is about to be committed, is being committed, or has been committed by a suspect. However, probable cause is not required for temporary detentions such as pedestrian stops, car stops, and those carried out during the execution of a search warrant. Instead, in such situations, the law enforcement officer is only required to possess reasonable suspicion of criminality. As for the search, there has to be probable cause to believe that there is evidence of an offense in the place to be searched or that a crime is being committed........................GET A PLAGIARISM FREE COPY